Monday, March 4, 2013

Marching towards May - APCS exam prep

In my APCS class we are functionally done with new topics this year. They are working on searches and sorts the next two weeks, but in my mind that is just an application of the array material we covered back in December.

This is how I pace my AP a spiral. We hit a topic early on, like arrays. Then in the next unit we cover methods, and guess what? Most of the methods I have them write process arrays. We do class design, and here we are back on arrays. My hope is that by seeing them embedded throughout with lots of repetition, they might actually remember a few things about them on the AP exam, or in college, or on Jeopardy. I'm a dreamer that way.

To start off we did a day of review about arrays. I gave them some practice exercises, then we did CodingBat  problems. That was Monday. Wednesday we started searches. First I gave them a quiz - I randomly picked one of the CodingBat problems from last class and used it for a 60-80-100 quiz.

 As went over the problem we talked a lot about stealing points on the APCS Free Response questions...did you know you could steal points?

We did the 2009 #1 free response problem. it ties in nicely with a lot of what you see in the CodingBat problems.

Then we did searches. I used Plastic eggs  for the linear search. We did the telephone book trick for the binary search. Here's a video of another way to teach this.

And as a side note, as telephone books become less common I am finding I horde these.

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