Big Picture Curriculum Question

Hello everyone,

I will be teaching CSP next school year and am excited but worried about pacing too. I’m starting to map out my year and am wondering if there’s any lessons that take more time than the others. Any lessons in particular stand out for folks that might take more time, and why?


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It is going to depend on your students. Generally, the hard parts are exactly what you expect.

If your kids are not well prepared in math then 1.4 and 1.5 on binary plus there is a little piece on modulo arithmetic. Related to that are conditionals introduced in 4.6. That will include the infamous a == 5 || 6 mistakes.

Event driven programming is introduced in 3.6.3 without much explanation. That will haunt you the rest of the year.1

Unit 5 with lists, loop, and traversals will be a problem compounded by the misunderstandings of conditionals. Lists are going to be coded as arrays which are objects in Javascript. We treat arrays as traditional arrays so the Object notation plus dynamic typing can be confusing. The rampant a = [getColumn()] mistake rears it’s head due to that confusion.

Unit 7 Parameters and return are introduced after we have taught the kids how to avoid using those concepts. They don’t see the need to use them so you need to take the time to show them.

1It should be noted that while App Lab introduces callbacks without explanation the most popular alternative, Scratch, introduces multi-threading and concurrency without explanation.


Thanks for posting! I think you will love teaching CSP. I understand how you feel about pacing. Many teachers have felt concerned about pacing and lessons that may take more time than others. The lessons are designed to be completed within a 45-minute time block. In my classes, I’ve found most students can complete the lessons in that time block. I’ve also found some students finish faster and some students take longer.
Most teachers I’ve spoken to have found as I did, you will get a feel for what works best for your students. Don’t feel like you have to be a slave to the schedule. Make adjustments as you see fit. How does that sound to you? Would anyone else like to jump in to offer their 2 cents?

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Wow, thanks for this reply! This is super helpful, what I’m here for.