Wednesday, September 13, 2017

First 10 days of AP CSP

The first 10 days of AP CSP using CS50 curriculum.

This is my third year of teaching AP CSP (first year pilot). Each year, as most of you know, I need to change some things up.

Day 1: Keynote - I shared a prezi about my summer and what I did specifically to bring back to the classroom.  I also gave students an inside look as to what it would be like to work for Facebook.

Day 2: Waffle Day - Because the Disney Family Fun calendar said it was Waffle Day.  So we practiced algorithms by making waffles.  We only had a 2 oz plastic cup and a 16 oz cup so we may have had to come up with our own algorithm when the box didn't quite match our tools. Algorithms were recognized again when we sat down to play Guess Who. This "board" game has one rule, you can only ask yes/no questions.  Sorting, searching, and binary was all discussed by the conclusion of the 3-game matches going on around the room.  Students thought the point was to show diversity as discussed at Facebook but we got a little more vocabulary introduced.

Day 3: Drawer building - Nothing like getting some manual labor out of your students.  I had a cabinet that needed some drawers put together for our new supplies in the room. I grouped students up in 3's and asked them to figure out how the drawer went together without the instructions.  Once again an opportunity to discuss algorithms and an opportunity for critical thinking.  (This was a popular activity and I will need to find something new to build next year.)

Day 4: The syllabus.  Yeah, now that they are hooked
and are already introduced to some vocabulary I laid out expectations for the course and what they could expect. I also prepared for something new.  While reading for the AP CSP test this summer it was evident a lot of students did not understand nested algorithms.  Each year we make PB&J sandwiches. I decided the students would go shopping with me (grocery is two blocks from the school) -- later I will use the receipt illustrating taxable algorithm, non-taxable algorithm, total cost.  Well, they made the shopping list on day 4 and quickly changed it to ham & cheese sandwiches when we learned of a peanut allergy in the classroom.

Day 5: Shopping day

Day 6:  Algorithms (this time a little more formal) - What's an algorithm? - David J. Malan
Signed up with Scratch accounts.

Day 7: Binary via Nate and a game.

Day 8: Ham & Cheese sandwich day - Pseudocode

Days 9 - 10: Scratch - Binary Bulbs (I don't do the pset0 get to know Scratch first because I introduce Scratch in middle school so we try to solve this as our first problem.)

And this was CS50 Cedarville, The First 10 days.