I only meet my classes once a week, so we would only have time to complete one of the units in this section. I know that they’d be most engaged with Unit 3 - Animations and Games. I’m wondering if I can use that as a standalone curriculum for the year. Thanks for your input.
Hi @rfriedman, you can def use Unit 3 as a standalone curriculum if you had to with your students. I’ve met teachers this summer in your situation and they are planning on doing the same. It would be really cool if you could share some feedback/insights on how that is working for you!
Unit 3 is a good one for coding, but I could see unit 2 as a stand alone if you wanted to do a web design unit instead. It’s nice to have options.
@rfriedman really glad to hear you’re interested in the curriculum. I wanted to also draw your attention to the CS Fundamentals Express course which you can find here. It’s designed to be implemented once a week if needed, and would probably more closely match your needs than CS Discoveries.
The CS Discoveries course assumes daily class meetings of roughly 45-50 minutes, and if implementing the curriculum once a week I would worry that some of the pacing might not match students’ expectations. For example if we think 4 lessons in CS Discoveries would take about a week to get through, it would mean your students would be on those concepts for a month or more. Based on pilot feedback from this spring we also know that teachers who jumped right into Unit 3 ran into more problems with discouraging or intimidating students who didn’t already have CS background or identify as CS students. By contrast classes who taught Unit 1 and 2 which establishes good problem-solving strategies and a supportive classroom culture reported many fewer issues.
This is a long way of saying that Unit 3 as a standalone course meeting once a week really isn’t what we designed that unit for and we’ve heard from piloters that you can run into issues along the way. The CS Fundamentals Express course would be our recommended course given your implementation model. If you’re dead set on using CS Discoveries we’d recommend starting with some of the lessons in Unit 1 in order to establish good classroom culture and problem-solving strategies. Finally, as @kevinsukhoo mentioned this course is still new and we’re learning more all the time about what works and what doesn’t in classrooms. Happy to keep answering questions as you have them but please let us know what you try and how it goes!
Yeah, I also like unit 2 as a stand alone if you have to. I feel like it still has some of the unplugged lessons that help to build up those PPCCCs before the programming heavy unit 3. Plus, students love making web pages!