Non-AP CS Principles - How much time needed?

cspfeedback2016
#1

Hello all. First time posting here. Our school currently does not offer CSP (though I teach computer programming) but we are considering teaching CS Principles for the first time next year-- but only as a non-AP course at this time. If I am reading the pacing guide correctly it looks like Units 1-5 are the meat of the course and that can be completed in 22 weeks. There are many more days and weeks devoted to AP prep and so on… but since we will not have AP I am trying to figure out what to do the rest of the year.(14 weeks). I was considering having longer programming projects added throughout the course… or perhaps even introducing another computer language like Python. Anyone out there have experience with this situation?

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#2

Welcome!

This isn’t the situation I’m in, but I think that having longer (or more open-ended) projects would be great. My kids actually really enjoy doing the Create, regardless of the fact that it is an AP requirement. Their comments of “I wish we had done…” definitely includes: other languages, a small intro into hardware, and html/web design. You may also want to take a look at the post-AP unit; if I remember correctly it has some data handling and an intro to OOP.

#3

Thanks so much for your input. Those are good suggestions. This will be a somewhat of a paradigm shift for me after teaching years of just computer programming. Looks like the curriculum has some really good things in it. Looking forward to exploring further. Thanks again!

#4

I use the content but not as an AP class either. Because of that, I teach 3 and then 5 (keeping the coding units together) as one course and 1, 2, and 4 as another.
This is my first year using this curriculum and doing it this way. I was going to move on to move programming after 3 and 5, but this particular group of students was DONE with programming. Next year my principal wants to have semester-based classes (as opposed to year-long) so I’m glad i set it up this way.

#5

Hi @brandon.mink,

I agree with @biermanl about checking out the post-AP unit and also consider having your students do the Performance Tasks if you weren’t planning on already.

Also, most teachers teaching this curriculum the first time find they fall behind the suggested schedule, so it’s likely you won’t have as much leftover time as you think you will.

Lastly, in my own class after the APs, I had my students try some stuff on App Inventor by MIT. There’s some cool tutorials on there but it works only on Android devices, which can present a pretty big logistical challenge. Students had a lot of fun though.

Frank

#6

Thanks for the feedback. Great ideas.

#7

I never thought about putting 3 and 5 together. That might work well. Thanks for the tip

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