Teaching CSP as non-AP in 1 semester block

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.

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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…


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, 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.

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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

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!

I am also teaching this in one semester (2nd semester), but as AP and in a blended learning environment. That consists of two 84-minute blocks of instruction and three 84-minute blocks of flex time ever week. The students can choose their flex time, so they may not be in the room with me or their other classmates. I’m concerned about timing and how to complete the activities if they are not with me or their classmates the majority of the time. Does anyone have any suggestions?