Help with algorithms and abstraction based on AP Exam results



From reading the comments so far in the College Board AP teacher community and the tweet from Trevor Packer, it appears there were two main areas where teachers struggled with content this past year, algorithms and abstraction. I absolutely struggled with these concepts. I understand them, but teaching them is a different matter. I received my scores today and I am very pleased with the results. I used the curriculum exclusively and my students did great! I am anxious to gain access to the more detailed reports that will be forthcoming to see if my students scored lower in these two areas.

So, my question is, what additional resources and help are the very creative and helpful people at planning to create in order to help us with algorithms and abstraction concepts?

Thank you!


CArole - was this your first time teaching CS? Just curious.
I’m teaching CSP next year and it’ll be my first time.


@carole_black Congratulations on your scores and being a pioneer. One of the great things about the forum is that teachers have created awesome resources and shared them. Check the algorithms threads for some. In addition, there was a compilation of all the teacher resources created. I will check for the release date (including new resources) and get back to you. Have a wonderful summer.


Yes, my first time teaching the Principles course. I have previously taught the AP Computer Science A (Java) course, but that was a few years ago. My background comes from the computer industry. So, the Principles course was a fabulous course for me to teach. In many ways it was a trip down memory lane as I started in the computer industry in 1979 before the first IBM PC was commercially available! (Yes, I am old!!!)

I cannot state enthusiastically enough how good the curriculum is. Everything you need is right there. Make sure to ready the lesson plans thoroughly. Watch any available videos made for teacher on how to teach the lesson. In fact, on several instances I showed parts of that video to my students to help them understand what is is they are to do during the activity. Watch the student videos in advance think about what you want to expand on from the videos. Lots of vocabulary is presented in the videos that I think the students tend to gloss over. Don’t let them.

There is such good information in the lesson plans, I made PowerPoints for each Lesson starting with Lesson 10 of Unit 1. I think that is when I discovered the students needed something to “study”. Most of the content of the PowerPoints is cut and pasted information from the lesson plans. I also previewed the assessment questions and made sure all concepts from the questions were covered in the Power Points. That way I was sure the students had seen the information at least once. Students could go back and review the relevant concepts prior to the assessments.

The assessments are great. Very challenging and good preparation for the AP exam. You do need some kind of additional assessment points to go along with the multiple choice. If you give assessment grades from the MC only, I think you will find the grade need some supplement. Mostly the students need to learn how to take master this type of MC material.

My goal this year is to stay more connected to this community. Once the school year starts, which is 3 weeks from today for me (pity party in progress!!!), my time just seems to evaporate. But I want to make this community a priority.

Good luck and always reach out for help!


PS, Here is the link to the Unit 1 Lesson 10 PowerPoint I created.


Thank you, Terrence. I will check this community regularly for ideas


I’ll add your resource to our database.


@carole_black That PowerPoint looks awesome! Do you mind sharing all of the PowerPoint files you made with me? This will be my first year teaching the course and it would help me tremendously!



I love your google slides!! Is it possible that you can share all of them with me to help me with my class? Thank you very much.