Practice - NEW content?

Not sure where to put this post. I have tried units 2 & 3 and have always wondered why the prompt on the Practice page is to “CHOOSE from the following activities.” It seems like the students would benefit by doing all the activities rather than just choosing. Seems like there sometimes is NEW content in some of the lessons rather than practicing skills from previous lessons. If it’s “practice” than there should not be anything NEW. Maybe I’m wrong??


I don’t think you are wrong at all. Maybe it should either not have those instructions or say, “ask your teacher which activities you should do.” I, personally, don’t have time for them to do all of the activities on all of those free choice pages, but I DO tell them which ones I want them to do…

Of course, you are free to treat it how you want in your own classroom… maybe having some more neutral language would be good on those pages.


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I use this as a way to differentiate for the students who work faster vs slower (in addition to using challenges this way). I generally only require them to do one of the practice activities of their choice (as indicated by as I want to be sure they get to the assessment level because I check that more carefully and every time ( and use the rubic for feedback when provided) to give me an indication of their understanding. I don’t necessarily look at the results of their practice activities other than an informal floating around the classroom, which varies depending on how much help I need to provide to individuals.

My hope is that the assessment levels continue to be a valid formative assessment for the most important parts of each lesson. I’m also a big proponent of students learning how to and regularly looking things up in online resources, such as the Web Lab and Game Lab documentation (and sometimes W3 schools for unit 2) so if I’m ok if they don’t internalize a particular detail that might be in a practice level if they get facile at looking things up. As someone who has programmed semi-professionally (I’ve done it as part of my job but was never a full time programmer) I look up syntax, parameters, etc all the time.