Teaching as a 9 Week Course

Hello! With all the changes to this coming school year, I will be teaching this class for the first time and as a 9 week course. Does anyone here do that? If so, what material do you cover to be the most effective?

Thanks in advance!

It kind of depends on what you want to emphasize. If it is a 9 week course with a typical 45 minute per day class (or something similar), you may only have time to cover around half the material.

I do something similar in one of my classes and I mostly teach them unit 3, however, it’s not ideal as I love the problem solving curriculum in unit 1 and I wish I had a few more weeks to cover all of that. I think the next time I teach for that short of a time period, I will probably teach several lessons from unit 1 and then the first half of unit 3.

If you prefer teaching web development, though, unit 2 is a great standalone unit as well. What I probably wouldn’t try to do is to cram all three units into 9 weeks. That would probably be confusing to students and not give them enough time to process what they are learning.

Just my 2 cents, but maybe others will jump in and share what they do.



I teach this as a nine week course to 8th grade. Normally, I spend about a week going over problem solving process, what a computer is, and input and output. I then start unit 3. We normally get to about lesson 19 or 20. I think it covers most of the important ideas and they’ve basically gotten to all of the coding in unit 3.

I am also using this in my class for the first time! In my 7th and 8th grade classes, I have planned to work through Unit 1 in both, and then Unit 4 in seventh and Unit 3 in eighth. I thought it would be a cool experience to build the app as a seventh grader and design the game as an eighth grader! I am also teaching a sort of digital citizenship curriculum alongside code.org, so I’ve had to skip/shorten some of these lessons. I tried my best to only shorten lessons I think students may grasp quicker than others.

I teach this as a 9 week course as well. I am lucky enough to have my students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grade. In 6th grade we cover Units 1 & 2. In 7th grade we cover Unit 3. In 8th grade we cover Unit 6.

This year I will be teaching CSD as a 12-week course, 3 times. The same course with different students each of our 3 trimesters.

I am thinking about doing one of the following. Any thoughts would be welcome on either idea.

Idea #1
Unit 1 - just under the 2 wk. recommendation
Unit 3 - keep under 9 weeks
Unit 6 - as much time as I can get in


Idea #2 might be considered “crazy”, but it could work.

  • Unit 1 -> 1 or 2 weeks, Possibly Unit 4 for a brief Design Process overview
  • 2-3 days to look over Units 2, 3, 4 & 6
  • Students pick which ones they are interested in
    * They would be expected to pick two of the units to work on
    * I would expect them to finish at least 1 1/2 of the 2 units
  • I know - this one sounds crazy.
    * But it lets the students follow a topic they are more interested in.
    * I would probably ‘pair’ units to be taught at the same time, i.e./ 2 & 4, 3 & 6

Hello @rsmith1! Welcome back! We haven’t seen you in a while.
With respect to your scheduling options, I would personally lean toward the more conservative option due to the possibility of so many schools switching between online and in person throughout the school year. I really like Idea #2 a lot, but I’m wondering if it would be next to impossible to manage if your school year changes format throughout the year. Maybe you are in a more stable area and there is little concern about COVID - if that’s the case, then I say, shoot the moon and go for Idea #2.
Speaking from a purely curricular point of view, there would have to be parameters about which two units students chose together and in what order they were completed. For instance, a student could not choose Unit 2 & Unit 6. They would not have the necessary background knowledge to complete the activities in Unit 6 without first having some exposure to JavaScript in Unit 3. These are just some thoughts to consider. I hope you have a wonderful start to your school year.

I agree.
Idea #2 would be great (with given ‘expectations’), but especially scary for management in this time of unknown schedules changes.
I will probably keep it simple (at least for now) and go with Unit 1 -> 3 (possibly abridged) ->6 (as much as possible). I found Unit 6 to be the most fun. Students were able to hold the changes in their hands, not just the screen.
Maybe next year (if things calm down) I will try something like Idea #ecs:ecs-unit2
Thank you for your support.

1 Like