an idea worth EXPLORING

Happy Fall to you!  It has finally become fall in the deep South, and we couldn’t be happier.  The time for boots, scarves, and light jackets is as welcome as is the appearance of candy corn in the grocery store isles (although that pops up in late July these days HA!).   Now let’s talk data!

Today’s post is about an idea that I’ve been pondering for scaffolding the Explore Performance Task.   A few weeks back in the CSP teachers Facebook group a teacher posted his idea for having students develop an innovations list via class crowdsourcing.  It was a good idea and as I have been thinking about it, I see the need to take it one or two steps farther to better connect it to the PT in terms of scaffolded instruction toward the written components of the task.  Here is my idea that I will say is “worth EXPLORING” with your students:

Exploring Computing Innovations & Data


None.  This is an activity for a first introduction to the components of the Explore PT (pages 4-8) and Explore PT Rubric.


Explore PT 2D prompt and Row 6 only, I have created these images snipped from the links above.    Give each student team the 2D prompt only at the start of the activity; use Row 6 during whole class guided inquiry.



Activity Description: (1-2 class periods/hours)

Group students in teams of 2-3 (3 preferred) to select a computing innovation (see the CED page 125 to instruct on what is/is not a true computing innovation), investigate its data, write a response to Explore PT 2D only, and prepare one collaborative infographic 1/2 size poster for the class innovation wall.  Circulate among groups helping student to realize the detail in the 2D prompt and to write technically about digital data in its least abstract form.  Guide students toward the 5th column of the rubric Row 6 without showing them yet the rubric.  It is important for students to experience what they “think” should be good enough to write before realizing how much farther the depth of a written response should go.

Teams will present their findings in “flash talk” format with teacher guided inquiry to lead determining if

(a) the innovation selected is a true computing innovation and

(b) data has been drilled to its digital format and meets the requirements for a PT and

(c) the rubric is satisfied.

It is recommended that teams should read/discussion lay their PT paragraph to the class with the class analysis being guided by rubric Row 6.  However, the written work should be accomplished from following the PT instructions.   In other words, work from the instructions, assess/evaluate from the rubric.

Post-Assessment/Follow-up/Homework: (1 class period or nightly assignment)

Have student individually refine/revise/re-write their group’s 2D response so that it does met the expectation of the Explore PT Row 6 rubric.   Receive this individual work digitally so that you can give feedback (or you can have peer review with feedback in class).

This activity will be useful to have students learn to work from the PT guideline prompts and build confidence and skill in the task.   The data of a computing innovation is the heart of the Explore PT and is where student research and focus should begin in order to ensure that their innovation is sufficient to meet the PT.   In short….if the data cannot be determined and described, another innovation should be selected.   Consider this the rock thrown into a pond and that if the circle radiating out from the innovation’s data are not sufficient, one should throw another rock.

I hope this idea proves helpful in your class.  My students will be Exploring Innovations in Semester 2, and we will start soon after Christmas with this activity — some are already exploring so this is just for you!   Blessings for a fabulous fall, Jill


NOTE:  Image Obtained from LINK