Exploring & Creating 101 — Part 1

Hi, friends, and happy Wednesday!   Today is all treats for CSP teachers yet the trick left by the wicked witch last night is that it is NOVEMBER.  NOVEMBER ALREADY [insert Scream face here]– oh my soul, it is NOVEMBER!  Where has the time gone this year already.  Unreal but we must rise to the occasion so onward and upward!

Now is the time for CSP teachers to be getting in serious gear for a PT to finish out the time until Christmas.  I have several PPT files to share for CSP teachers beginning to seriously ramp toward Explore or Create heading into the holidays.   Many teachers have students accomplish one of the two PTs before the holiday break in December.   If this happens to be you, then the clock is ticking in your ear in terms of scaffolding, talking about the task and ramping students up.   Should you NOT have planned for a task before the holidays, please consider dropping everything and thinking toward such a pacing plan.  It isn’t too late to ramp up and accomplish a task either in December or early January.   Breaking the PTs apart in yearly pacing is proven to be a successful strategy for students to have time and mental energy to demonstrate best work.  

Over the next days, I will create instructional video segments by PT prompt item for my students (and to share with you all next Wednesday).  There will be a video about each PT prompt so that students can listen to the instructions explained, rubric row explained and see samples analyzed/discussed.  In preparation for creating informative videos, I have prepared the following slides with PT information.  Please download and use in your room as you teach and review the tasks.



Along with the videos will be journal notes pages where students record information about each component of each task.  I will share images of those as well.   Essentially, this post is part 1 of 3 coming with everything PT I can think of to help my students and help you help your students.  It takes a village, and I am thankful to have you all in mine!

Next up…..Last week I created the poster documents below for sharing with CS4AL teacher PD and for my students to have a visual of what algorithms and abstractions might look like in the languages we use.  These are linked below in PPT and PDF for your editing convenience or use.   Consider customizing to the language(s) used in your classroom and have made into large posters as possible.

Abstraction-2D_Posters PDF

Abstraction-2D_Posters PPT

Algorithms-2C_Posters PDF

Algorithms-2C_Posters PPT

And finally today…..Along with the algorithm posters above, I recommend to have students know and explain their algorithms by type.  The site http://www.101computing.net/sequencing-selection-iteration/ is effective to have students use in learning to recognize algorithms by type and become familiar with syntax.  While it is text code, it is not overly confusing to any experienced block coder.  After reviewing and discussing, students take notes in their journals about the 3 types listing common examples.   Finally, when writing the 2c portion of Create during scaffolding I require students to identify and explain including the type of algorithm, what it does, math/logic, etc. as the prompt requires.  Try this — it is an extension and adds depth of understanding to the 2c responses.

On Monday and next Wednesday I will have posts Part 2 and Part 3 rolling out so that you have the trifecta of PT resources.   Should you think of something you need that I don’t have in the hopper, please comment or email me.  I hope all these resources are helpful as you push students to ramp up to readiness on the Performance Tasks to demonstrate their understanding.

Take care and happy NOVEMBER, Jill