I just finished my plan for finishing semester 1 and how to get to the exam. This week was our 3rd week in Unit 3. I did Stages 1 - 6 before the break. I will use 8 classes over the next two weeks to complete unit 3 including the Digital Scene PT and a test. I did think about skipping Stage 9 and reducing the complexity of the PT. Although this PT seems trivial, I have found that it provides an opportunity for students to understand abstraction and how it reduces complexity. It is especially important for them to be able to write about how their code demonstrates abstraction. Since this is a huge part of the Create task, I have decided its is worth the time spent.
Since we no longer have semester exams, I plan to start Unit 4 before the semester break. I have 4 weeks (18 classes) including both Rapid Researches and a test. I am reluctant to do the practice PT because students cannot use any work that has been graded for their Explore task. So I plan provide the 8 hours of class time (~2 weeks - 11 class periods) right after finishing Unit 4. This will give time to use the Digital Portfolio for the first time. I think it will be better for my students to get a task out of the way.
The BIG Decision was to only plan to complete Unit 5 Chapter 1 before starting the Create task. So I have 3 weeks scheduled for that. As GT stated, the main programming topic in Unit 5 Chapter 2 is arrays. Not all of my students will sit for the exam, so preparation for the MC will probably be done mostly through study sessions.
My plan gives me 3 extra periods before April 30 because I have to account for the possibility of snow days and other fun disruptions. this definitely a work in progress.