Teaching CSP as non-AP in 1 semester block


#1

Hi all. I recently transitioned from teaching ECS to teaching CSP as a non-AP elective course. My students are 9-12 grade and cover the entire range in terms of interest in CS. I teach in a 5 day/week, 80 minute block period. We are nearing the end of Unit 1 and I’m realizing that my hopes of including most of the curriculum was (at best) unrealistic.

With all this in mind, are there lessons/units that can be compressed or eliminated without completely destroying the course? Which lessons lend themselves to being assigned as homework?

Any insight would be welcome. Thank you.


#2

Hi,
My advice is to combine some lessons in each Unit. Being you are teaching the class as a non-AP, you can totally skip Unit 6 AP Performance Tasks. You can reduce Unit 2 down to about 4 weeks by skipping Lesson 6 (1 week) and skipping Lessons 13-15. My students completed Unit 3 in 3 weeks. For Unit 4, you could skip Lesson 9 (1 week). My students love Unit 5 but if you have time constraints, I would aim to complete only chapter 1.

As far as homework, I believe the class discussions, programming pods and collaborative groups led to a deeper understanding of the concepts. I avoided assigning homework. That being said, if a student didn’t complete some of the lessons from Unit 3 and 5, I encouraged them to spend time at home or in the library to complete as much as possible.

I hope others weigh in with their ideas…
-Karen


#3

Karen,

Thanks for the input. I was planning on skipping Unit 6 and I had already kind of targeted U2 Lesson 6 as a candidate for removal as well. I feel like I’m on a high wire trying to balance the course requirements and path against my time constraints and the students’ desire to code/program. Thanks again for the help.
Nick


#4

Nick, I have block periods of 80 minutes every other day, so my full year time is similar to your one-semester. I doubled up on most lessons, particularly in Units 1, 2, and 4. I let the students take a full class period for each lesson in Unit 5. Following this, we are exactly on schedule without a day to spare to get in our Performance Tasks before the exam, which you don’t have to worry about. If I were teaching this non-AP, I’d probably skip the data analysis parts (making and analyzing charts), and dive deep in Units 3 & 5. My students were super engaged with the programming and wanted to do more of that.


#5

I am in a similar situation to Nick (80 minutes a day for 1 semester), except (most of) my students will be taking the AP CSP exam.

This is my first time teaching CSP and I’m worried about pacing, especially in semester 2.
I have 18 weeks of classes in S2 before exam week. But there are only 12 weeks before April 30th - and 3.5 of those weeks are taken by the 20 hours for the two PTs.

Karen, would you be willing to share your pacing guide?

Thank you - Ellen


#6

I am also migrating from ECS to non-AP CSP this year.
Essentially a semester class - 40 min periods alternating days for entire year!
I appreciate your question and the replies…super helpful!
Nick we are in the same boat!