Friday, November 1, 2013

Journaling in the Computer Science Classroom

One of the biggest changes for the new APCS Principles course is the use of Performance Tasks (PT) as a part of the official CollegeBoard assessment. These PTs and a summative test at the end of the year will be used to score the kids, just like the 1-5 score they get on other AP tests.

This means our students need lots of practice writing. In my CS Principles pilot we do a lot of journaling throughout the year. I give them specific prompts to respond to every few days. We also heavily use discussion boards (more on that here) to get them reading and responding to other students work. this is especially important since two of the PTs are collaborative.

This year I am trying to keep these topics n a more organized list - here are the topics for Unit 2: The Internet Unplugged: Journal Topics for Unit 2

For their journals - I read them periodically throughout the term. I am not checking for grammar or spelling - the goal is to get ideas recorded and to start using writing as a part of their reflections on the topics we use in class.

Note - if you were using an old version of the PTs, they were updated earlier this fall. You can find the update here.

The most significant change is the Internet Task has been replaced by Explore. The feel of the two tasks are the same, but the updated version allows them to pick any innovation, not just those centered around the Internet.

For my students I am doing journal topics that connect the Internet and innovation. we'll be doing a Model Performance Task in the next few weeks, and will finish the first PT on Innovation after we finish the Unit 2.

Other writing Posts:

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