Most Important Lessons in CS Discoveries (Trimester Class)

Hi all,

I teach a trimester-long STEM elective class and I’m working on incorporating CSD into the class.

However, I cannot work out a good pacing option for the shorter time period (approx. 16 weeks, then I get a new group of students). So I’m looking for the most important and/or valuable lessons to teach over this period and have them align in a meaningful way.

Thanks in advance for your help!!



Hi Michael,
How often/how long are your classes? With 16 weeks and daily 50-minute classes you could probably teach the majority of semester 1 (units 1-3). There are several projects in Unit 3 that could make natural stopping points if you don’t have quite enough time to do everything. Let us know approximately how much total instructional time you have and we can go from there.

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the quick reply!!

I have 80 minute blocks and see students 2-3 times per week (Fridays alternate).

I was planning to devote 45-50 minutes each class period to CS.

I’m trying to figure how to pack the most into a 16-week trimester, since students would only take my class once per year.

I would then build on that trimester the next year, so students would get three trimesters of CS by the time they leave middle school.

Any other suggestions are greatly appreciated!! Thanks again.



As a suggestion, I would click through the Objectives for each lesson and see if you can combine them, or find ways to teach into two in a single period. The objectives matter more than completing the lesson plan word for word. I know you have MS students, but have you tried a flipped classroom with them? The fact that Units 2 and 3 are online (save a few unplugged lessons) they could complete the lessons prior to class and then come in with questions and to complete the unplugged activities with classmates - or review what they went over in a Pair Programming partnership. I had limited amount of time for Unit 1-3 in the pilot, and tried this method, but I also had HS students which might be a little more responsible.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

Thanks Brad, I’ll look at doing something similar. The majority of my students don’t have computer/internet access outside of school, but some things can definitely be done at home.

Hey @michael_goddard if you head to and scroll down to the FAQ you’ll see we make some recommendations on how to use the curriculum if you don’t have a full semester with daily class meetings. Give that a look too and feel free to let us know if you have additional questions.