CS Discoveries in Summer School

I’ve been teaching CS Discoveries for two years and was just asked to teach it in summer school. I’ve never taught summer school before and am anxious about the accelerated pace. Our summer school is two sessions that are 11 days each, each session represents a semester; basically each summer school day (normally 6 hours per school day) is roughly equivalent to a week of regular class. I am looking for advice as to strategies for not burning out the students.

Additionally, due to school closures, all of this will be distance learning, so the students will be alone in their homes. This means that the unplugged activities will be a challenge.

Please offer advice to a teacher new to CSD to be successful in summer school.

Hi Eric,

11 days is quick! How much of that 6 hours per day would be spent teaching CSDiscoveries? That might help everyone figure out what might work best for your time with the students.


After re-reading, it looks like this is 100% CS Discoveries at home over summer and 1 day is 6 hours. Are you synchronous or asynchronous? - will the students be on a video call the entire time or more like setup in a Google Classroom or similar?

Here are some tools that can help in the planning…

My suggestion on implementation would be to focus on Unit 2 and Unit 3 with unplugged Unit 1 lessons throughout the day each day to help break up screen time and get kids moving. For example, definitely do the aluminum boat challenge (Unit 1 Lesson 1)! That might be really fun for kids to do at home at “show and tell” synchronously OR make a video for you. The problem solving process poster (Unit 1 Lesson 2) could be sidewalk chalked outside, etc. When you get to Unit 1 Chapter 2, you could have them do scavenger hunts around their house to take pictures of things they THINK are computers and then come back and say why based on the lesson and video. Reflection each day could include, “How did what we learned about problem solving help us today_______” OR “How did what we learned about input, output, process, storage help us today_______” .

That is just my thinking. This is definitely a post where input from others would be helpful.

Good luck,

My admin hasn’t given any information on how this will work. Under normal summer school circumstances the students are in class for 6 hours with stretch and lunch breaks.

This summer we will be distance learning and I assume that we will check in via zoom meeting daily in the morning - I will have the daily assignment posted on Google Classroom. After the morning meeting clarifying the day’s assignment, I will probably have them work individually (not in a zoom meeting), and have a couple of check-ins via zoom to go over progress (maybe every two hours, meeting lasting 15-30 minutes). I also plan to be available via zoom in between for those who need help. I have a Google Voice account so students can text or call me if they need help, then we can conference in if a face to face is needed.

I certainly don’t want to have a 6 hour zoom meeting every day for 11 days - that’s not good for anyone. I was thinking that I could do some direct instruction via zoom, let them run with it at their own pace, and have several video meeting check-ins.

That’s what I’m thinking so far. I appreciate the feedback!

Regards, Eric