Unit 5 - Lesson Plan Pacing


#1

I am looking through Unit 5 Lessons and am not seeing the estimate for how long it takes to complete each activity within the lessons as we had in the previous Units. Am I missing something? My students are taking around 2 days (two 80 min periods) to get through each stage in this unit. I am trying to find out if it is estimated that each lesson here takes more than 45-55 minutes?

Thanks,
Amy


#2

Hi Amy,

There time estimates are missing because many of the lessons here represent merging and cutting of material from previous lessons, and some is completely new. We have a difficult time putting time estimates into the lesson because it swings so wildly for different teachers with different goals, so we want to avoid people rushing or slowing down unnecessarily.

That said, most of these lessons are on the big side. So I would estimate that most of the lessons are 1+ days and some easily a full 2 days. The way I would approach it however is to try to tackle groups of related lessons in week-long chunks.

If you click on the Unit Overview link (https://curriculum.code.org/csp/unit5/ ) you’ll see our week-by-week suggestion for pacing. This is admittedly fast if you’re trying to do it all in the 7-weeks suggested. If you can afford more time, and you can assign work outside of school the pace relaxes a little bit.

Hope that helps.

-Baker


#3

Thanks Baker – they are taking about 160 minutes (2 80 min blocks) to get through a stage.


#4

I am wondering if other teachers have made any experience if they are able to keep the suggested week planning?


#5

@rba this is tricky because I think it depends on your students’ previous experiences with logic or programming of any sort. My students took on average 1.5 days to finish most stages.

I played it more by ear. I made “end of the week” goals for students and, if it looked like things were going slower than I had planned, then I made a different goal for the class. I monitored students throughout the unit to make sure my lessons were aligned to where most students were.


#6

kaitie_o_bryan thanks so much for your reply. Would you be able to let me know how many minutes 1.5 days are for you? What year level was itand what prior experience did they have? I plan do do it in year 9 with minimal coding experience; however,I am concerned that I will not be able to fit it into one term.


#7

@rba We have 55 minute classes. I have students with a great variety of backgrounds in CS - most have no experience though. That being said, my class is mostly juniors and seniors with a really strong math background - many are in Calc or have already taken calc. So, they are used to a logical progression in thinking.

Can you help me understand what a “term” is? One semester? Are you just doing unit 5 or all of the curriculum for the full AP exam?

KT


#8

Katie,

I have made goals and adjusted just as you explained all semester. We have 4 80 minute periods this week. We completed Stage 8 yesterday and began stage 9 today. Tomorrow we will complete 9 and review for Unit 5 Assessment 2. They will work on Stage 10 as part of their final exam which is next week. I really wish we had more time but the nature of this course is building on the prior day’s experience…so although there isn’t much time to review, they are working with everything the previous units introduced during this week.

My period 2 class is made up of grades 9-12, with only few strong students. Only 3 in that class are working toward AP credit and completing the assessment. Most are in here because they didn’t know what to take as an elective. Many have IEPs or are in basic skills. In today’s 80 minute class, we worked through page 1 of the worksheet as a warm up activity. They were afraid to write pseudocode for fear of it being wrong. they wanted to know syntax! We went over their answers on the board and introduced AND, OR and NOT and watched both videos. We then worked through Stage 9 and most were up to Bubble 7-8. The last page of the worksheet is homework. We will have to finish Stage 9 tomorrow in class then work through the study guide for lessons 6-10. We will see how my period 7 class does later today. Lesson 10 is a culminating project and they will complete that as part of their final exam. We will not have time to complete the second half of Unit 5 this time around. The students taking AP will complete that on their own and check in with me during their Spring semester study hall or via google classroom.

Amy


#9

@awright I think you make a good point about what abilities students come with to class and what their goals are (to get an elective credit vs. getting AP credit). Pacing will look different in each of these classes which is what makes it hard to judge how long each lesson will take.

Additionally, my goals are to 1) help students discover the awesome-ness of computer science and 2) to prepare them for the AP exam. If the AP exam wasn’t a focus for me (and my school) I would probably approach some of the content differently.


#10

kaitie_o_bryan I teach in Australia. We do not have AP and I plan to use unit 1,2 and 5 in year 9 and unit 4 on year10. I skip unit 3 as we did 6 lessons of Scratch in yr8. Not much but it has to be enough. We have 4 lessons of 50min on average per week. We have four terms a year and about 7 - 7.5 weeks teaching time in a 9 week term? I get the feeling that with 50min lessons I need about 1.5 to 2 lessons per stage, so about 1.5 weeks peer suggested week. I am a bit concerned that I have to be very high paced to get though most of the unit and that might turn kids of coding.


#11

I see! Well, in my opinion, you are getting a lot of my students’ favorite lessons by sticking with those chapters! If you don’t have any person/district that is holding to to covering specific topics, you could cut out chapter 2 out of unit 2. It was good (and important content), but I don’t think I hooked any students into CS because of the second chapter in that unit.

Use professional judgement, but if students are learning and having fun, I think you are doing your job. “Getting through” the material isn’t as important as getting students curious about computer science and WANTING to know more about it. For unit 5, I had students who “self-assigned” themselves homework - I didn’t make them do homework, but they would come in the next day being WAY ahead because they liked what they could create. I have some real nerds though… they’re great, but not your average student. Sounds like you have a fun course on your hands though! I am excited to hear how it turns out!