Student Summer Assignments

Our school requires that all AP courses must have a summer assignment. Does anyone have any ideas about an assignment that has some meat to it which would be a good prep for this course. I was thinking of doing something with reading “Blown to Bits” but wasn’t sure about an assignment that could measure understanding as well as ensure that the reading is actually completed.


I am wondering if I should assign B2B too. We don’t require assignments at our school, but a lot of honors and ap core classes do. I am not sure about AP non-core. I am checking with them. I worry that b2b is so saturated on the Internet that students will just find something and rewrite a summary from it. I found parts of the book dragged on which mean students will put it down.

I was also considering assigning B2B, but I agree that parts of it does “drag” so I am not sure it will be particularly helpful. I am thinking that I will just assign chapters 1 and 2 for reading and then ask the students to choose one topic from those 2 chapters and create a 1-minute “artifact” that summarizes their reflection/research on the topic. I was thinking of giving them some suggestions on tools they could use for the “artifact” and encourage them to try them out and see which tool they like best. I feel that this will incorporate some of the “creativity” of the course along with the reading. Some ideas for tools: Google Slides with Screen-o-matic “voiceover”; WeVideo; PowToons; Animoto; Prezi. I thought it would be a fun intro to the course to watch the 1-minute artifacts from everyone. Any thoughts, suggestions?

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I love this idea! Generally our AP courses give 5 chapters as a summer assignment so I will probably do the same, and maybe submit an outline of the chapters, but the idea of an artifact is nicely relevant to this course. I haven’t looked at Blown to Bits yet, so I’ll have to see how the chapters flow.

Do your students coming in have any coding background? I was thinking of maybe assigning a self-taught coding activity like the Accelerated 20-Hour course for any students who have not taken a programing elective.

Great idea! I think I will do the same!

I also loved the idea of the self-paced/self-taught programming course. Anyone have any suggestions on a course that’s free and relatively easy to follow?

I love the 20 hour accelerated course idea. Since it will be about 12 weeks before we hit programming per this syllabus. This will be a nice intro and give them a basis for when we get back to it.

I like the 20 hour accelerated course idea also. I know I will have a mix of coding abilities in my class, so I think I will make the B2B/artifact a required summer assignment and the 20-hour accelerated course a suggestion for students who haven’t coded yet. If they don’t complete it during the summer, they can work on it once school starts as long as they complete it before we start coding.

Check it out. Great 6-hour tutorial for the absolute beginner in JavaScript.

Is there any assessment for B2B that u know of or would like to collaborate with me to create?

I went through Unit 1 Modules (16/17) and wrote down the extended learning activities that dealt with the Blown to Bits book. My summer assignment is to read the entire book and complete one PT by answering one of these activities in the Modules. My idea is to have them familiarize themselves with the vocabulary and concepts presented (knowing they won’t remember everything but can choose one module to complete and write about for a summer assignment- we will do each of these as we complete the units but it hopefully won’t be the 1st time they see the concepts, examples, stories etc…

Does anyone have any feedback on how the summer assignments went?