Anyone have recommendations on where to take a class after CS Principles?

So I am teaching an introductory class on coding this year (not for AP credit) as an elective and I am using this course as a way to give my students an introduction to coding since they do not have any knowledge or very little (most don’t even have access to the internet at home). I began the course going through lesson by lesson but found my students kept asking “When are we actually going to get to code?” and most were disappointed when they discovered that actual coding they enjoyed wasn’t until Unit 3. I then went from Unit 1 to Unit 3 and my students have truly found joy in the actual coding itself. I know the lessons in Units 2 and 4 are important but find that they are way too involved and my students lose interest in the “technical details” and I lose them on these sections, even on the activities.

My question is this—does anyone have any recommendations on where to go after we finish Unit 5? I feel as if this will take us to December but after this, I am at a lose as to whether I should go back to Units 2 and 4 (and potentially bore them to death) or if anyone has any places to go after they have basic JavaScript knowledge. I am about to have around $600 that I can spend on my classroom and wonder if there are any programming robots, Raspberry Pi things, etc. that might take the coding these kids have learned and apply it to something tangible. Anyone have any ideas, recommendations, etc.? If not, anyone have any ideas as to where we could go from here? Maybe additional programming languages or resources? I have gone to a training on Google CS but feel as if it is a bit rudimentary for my 10-12th graders.

Thanks!

Hi Ashley,

The CSP course is meant to be more of a breadth course that focuses on the material for the AP rather than a depth course in any one subject of computer science. Units 2 and 4 have a lot of widgets to do interesting (in my opinion!) things including drawing b/w and color pixel images with bits or compressing song lyrics. That said, if you are not working towards the AP and you would like to focus on programming for the rest of the year that is completely up to you. Do whatever works best for your students!

Code.org doesn’t have any more programming units “beyond” Unit 5 of CSP. There is a few programming units in CSD: one which focus on HTML/CSS and another that uses a Circuit Playground (similar to a MicroBit) to get the students thinking a little more about hardware than they do in CSP. The lesson plans are written for younger students, but I don’t think that makes the content less interesting for older students - particularly if your students don’t have outside experience with programming/computers.

To look at more high school options, check out the high school curriculum page on the code.org website. Below the code.org options you will see a table of “Recommended courses from 3rd parties” that might be useful. Good luck with your search!