Exploring & Scaffolding is Systematic

Happy Friday and happy, happy February <3!   Let’s hope that the groundhog is wrong and that winter soon leaves us for sunny spring days.  Phil is only accurate 37% of the time so odds are in spring’s favor.

Today I am sharing yet another way to scaffold toward Explore.    This year I’m teaching CSP using Plan B (Create topics and scaffolding only in Fall; Explore in Spring) which is strictly topical, streamlined and proving effective.   [In this August 16th blog post I discussed the Plan B plan for 2017-18 and shared a link to my live and shared CSP Google Pacing Calendar should you wish to see where we have been and where we are going in my classes.]

CSP Pacing Plan B in our curriculum resources allows students fewer weeks to scaffold toward Explore than does Plan A where we were able to have bi-weekly Innovation Mini-Reports and Flash Talks for 10-12 weeks.   Therefore, I condensed scaffolding to create an Innovation Report format series of 3 projects incorporating more depth to the assignments in both the written response AND artifact creation AND deliverable submissions.

Scaffolding toward the PTs is vital so that students receive feedback on their practice written work and artifact creation.   In my opinion, more than a mock task is necessary and scaffolding needs to be systematic over time to allow for growth as understanding develops.  Students need to practice and simulate the research and PT preparation process.   No worries if you are now working toward Create, my scaffolding system toward Create was shared and discussed in this blog post from October 4. Plan a method to scaffold the PT components that works for your classroom, your pacing calendar and your students — you know them best and can best determine what meets needs.  Below is what I am doing this year toward Explore.  Please use, edit, remake to help your students demonstrate their understanding of your innovations impact lives.  Blessings, Jill

Innovation Impact Reports 1-3:

A 3- to 6-week scaffolding plan toward the Explore Performance Task


Class Activity 1 — Pre-Teaching Explore

Guide students through a class activity to explore innovations on various topics.  The slides below can be used to lead a one-class lesson with some individual follow up and prep work toward Report #1.

Innovations Intro Class Activity

Innovation Relation to Data Graphic Organizer for aJournal

Innovation Impact Project 1

After discussions and review of the class activity, review computational artifacts and continue developing a computing innovation definition with students.   Assign Project 1 to allow students time to work on building an first artifact and working on concepts of component 2a and finding sources (without having yet to write paragraphs or prepare a written response).  Report 1 gives student directions using Venngage.com infographic software (btw, it is Chromebook friendly).

Innovation Impact Project 1 Lesson Plan Guide

Here are some fantastic infographic posters I got from my students last week.  I gave very few directions except make an artifact poster with 2a details and include sources used.   They had fun and learned about artifacts and exploring innovations by finding resources.



Innovation Impact Project 2

Teach students about Explore prompt 2a, 2c, and 2e explaining about the written responses and use of references.   Show and discuss the use of a grid-style template document to prepare written responses.  Broaden computational artifact options expanding on infographics and to include podcasts.     For more about teaching the Explore PT components, review these posts:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 where files, videos and poster resources are provided for both Create and Explore.

Add depth >> Assign students to learn EarSketch music programming with Python (free lessons from Georgia Tech) as a fun programming project so that customized music could be added to their podcasts.  EarSketch is a “flipped project” in my classroom for this nine weeks.  It loops back to programming from semester 1 and broadens their application skills while giving us more ways to incorporate elements in the CA development process.

Innovation Impact Project 2 Lesson Plan Guide

Innovation Impact Project 3

Follow the general format of Project 2 teaching and prep except working through the 2d prompt for Explore.  Students will expand artifact skills this time by creating a video artifact that may or may not include sound (narration, background music, both).  Emphasis will be on the consideration of how computing innovations manage and interact with data including storage, security, privacy considerations.  Again, EarSketch programming could be used for students to create his/her own background music for the video.  Since my classes coded a little Python in the fall, this allows a way for us to loop back and learn more.

Innovation Impact Project 3 Lesson Plan Guide

Consideration on Project Topics, Feedback, Assessment of Projects

In my classroom I would call this the JDub (a nickname I’m lovingly called for my initials JW) or Jill’s Cliff’s Notes section.  Teacher to teacher my commentary is that….

  • Students should complete Project 1 on the “birthday” computing innovation topic identified in the introduction activity slide deck.  This will ensure that all students are selecting various topics and will help with developing a list of possible innovations that truly are computing innovations.
  • Guided by teacher-led, discussion the class should continue the computing innovation brainstorm list throughout these weeks.  Use a journal page or idea wall to accumulate a dynamic list of good, true computing innovations.
  • Make a Venn Diagram comparing the definition of an innovation to a computing innovation.  Keep this up and alive in the classroom to force students to continually identify examples of computing innovations that have code and/or device as integral to functioning integrating consideration of benefits, harms, impacts, data as the weeks progress.
  • Teacher feedback for Project 1 should center on infographic components and general “what is a good citation”.  Keep the feedback light and fluffy for Project 1 as students are learning to use a new software tool, Venngage.com, and are learning to clearly state a purpose, effect and factual statement about a computing innovation.   The idea of Project 1 is to guide students to learn what a computing innovation is and is not and to learn about infographics as a computational artifact while also applying 2a prompt.  The topic for Project 1 could be something the student comes back to for the real Explore PT as this work would not be identical to any of the official deliverables and feedback is general.
  • Projects 2-3 do mirror the PT deliverables, therefore, the topics for Projects 2-3 must not be the topic a student wishes to use for his/her actual Explore PT.  
  • Teacher feedback for Projects 2-3 should be specific and based on the quality of written responses and using the CollegeBoard rubric elements.  Use these projects to guide students toward highest clarity of responses.
  • Projects 2-3 could be first assessed with peer feedback  as an assessment tool if that works with your student population.  I don’t do peer feedback often because it eats up class time and if I am reviewing it anyway then what is the point of using lab time to do something twice.  Your call in your class, of course!
  • The topic of all three projects could be the same for a student provided it is NOT what he/she plans to use for the actual Explore PT.
  • If you need another one day, collaborative preparatory on Explore lesson this blog post Explore idea might be useful too.

Best wishes in your classes whether creating or exploring.  Teaching CS is fun and always changing so we must keep juggling, adapting, learning and growing.   Tootles, J


Below are .jpg images of posters about Explore from Summer 2017.  Download and use these as helpful (my apologies that they are sideways — sometimes sideways is the way life goes and is best I can do HA!) ~

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