I have 8 weeks...what can I skip?


#1

I have 8 weeks left and we just finished unit 3. What lessons can be skipped in Unit 4, 5 and 6? Any suggestions?


#2

Much of Unit 4 can be skipped or combined, but Unit 5 is crucial. I recently went through the practice test from the College Board, and many of the programming questions require skills specifically taught in Unit 5. Don’t skip the last few stages - arrays seemed to pop up a lot in the practice questions. Unit 6 is the Performance Tasks and basically provides instruction for planning, completing, and submitting the tasks. Have you built in time to complete the tasks before the end of April?


#3

I am combining unit 4 and we should be done with that next Friday, March 10. My goal is to have Unit 5 complete by March 31 (this give us 3 weeks to go through unit 5). Then we have Spring Break April 3-7. When we return April 13, that is when I was planning to start Unit 6. Do you think this will allot us the time to complete the tasks?
This is my first time teaching the AP course and I am not sure of the timeline and what needs to be done by what date. So, I am hoping I am on the right track. Please advise if not…


#4

It really depends on how long your classes are. You need to plan 20 hours of class time for the two performance tasks (create - 12 hours, explore - 8 hours). You can use Unit 6 to help students organize this process. Honestly, I think waiting until April 13th is too long to wait. That only gives your students two weeks to complete the tasks, which means you’d be having them in class 2 hours a day. I’m a little confused by your schedule - if April 7th is the last day of break, why aren’t you starting on the 10th? Three weeks would be better, although still cutting it short.

For me, I have 70-80 minute classes every other day and some odd breaks in our schedule, so I had to block out 6 weeks for the two performance tasks. We just started today. I kept a very strict schedule for the year to make sure that we could meet this goal and get through all the content.

I would get into Unit 5 ASAP, as those are skills that they need to have mastered not only for the PT, but also for the exam. Unit 4 is much more skip-able.


#5

Okay thank you for the suggestion! I will get started Monday! I meant April 10 not the 13th. I see them 4 1/2 hours a week so I would need at least 4 weeks. I need to find out when my exam is now. Thank you, again.


#6

The performance tasks are due April 30th, although they suggest having a soft due date of April 15th. The AP Comp Sci Principles exam is on May 5th.


#7

Oh thank you! So those dates apply to all districts?


#8

Yes - they are nationwide.


#9

Thank you for your help and advice! It has helped get me on track!