Getting more depth out of CSP curriculum

In a long debrief with underclassmen in CSP today, I found they are looking for more depth of understanding programming than they feel they are getting. As I’m sitting here thinking about next year I’m wondering if you have any tips for how you use the curriculum and manage to spend more time on programming than is prescribed.

After the AP exam I cover chapter 2 from the " Post AP - Data Tools" unit. It walks them through building an app using JavaScript objects and demonstrates some real world data management tools like lists and database APIs.

I’m not sure that I would consider adding more programming concepts prior to the AP exam though since there is already a pretty significant amount of information that they are expected to know.

It’s great that your students are interested in doing more programming! Hopefully they have the opportunity to continue on to CS A. If not, perhaps adding a coding club is the way to go.

  • Mitch

Hi Mitch,

Thanks for the thoughts. We are also working through that part of the bonus Unit. I am looking at the pre-ap programming concepts and just considering where things can be deeper. I realize we are covering a lot for the exam, and that is a limit of what we can do, but also want to try to honor my kids interests which seem to be bigger than just the AP test.

There are other things out there where the students can take their knowledge of programming and build on it. MIT’s App Inventor allows students to program real Android Apps quickly. Playing with Arduinos and some kind of breadboard kit allows students to build some hardware circuits and then write code to control them. That’s what I do with my students after the AP Exam. They really like building the hardware and making it work.