I teach AP CSP in a block A/B format. This particular class is during the last block of the class, so once announcements start the students are done. So I really only have about 70 minutes to teach the lessons. To keep up with the pacing, I have been trying to do 2 lessons a day. I am noticing that when we started coding lessons that the pacing is way too fast. It really takes almost (some more, some less) the entire period to complete one lesson. Is other teachers having this problem? Most of my students are not experienced with coding at all and really struggle through. I am worried about the pacing and having enough time to finish before the AP Exam. At this pace, I will finish Unit 4 by Christmas. Anyone else have thoughts on this?
I have a similar issue. I teach in an A/B day schedule with 80 minute blocks. I also try to do 2 lessons a day. When I got to Unit 4, I decided to push through the Explore/Investigate quickly, skipping some “explore” if needed, so that I can get to the first few levels of the Practice lesson in the same day. The students need to complete some of the “Practice” lessons for homework. Then the next class, we review questions they had on the first part of the Practice, finish the Practice and begin the Make. Then they finish the Make for homework. It is not ideal, but it helps a bit. I find if they pay attention to the Practice, the Make goes more smoothly.
I like this, but my issue most of my students cannot or will not do the work at home. Our school is a title one school and some work late jobs and/or do not have internet at home. So I really have to do everything in class. I think I will shorten the explore activities and work through investigations with my students in the same class. And then have them work on the practice and make, but I might have to give them an extra day to work on the Make activity. I will see. Thank you for your input. Feels good that other teachers have the same issue.
I agree that the expected Code.org curriculum pacing is not good. They throw A LOT of new ideas at students in a relatively short amount of time so I really slow down through these units and make sure students have a good understanding before moving on. I feel that there are many non-programming related topics down the road that can either be skipped or combined into single lessons.
The programming concepts covered in units 4 and 5 are critical for the Create Task as well as the multiple choice portion of the exam so it is worth spending extra time here.