Monday, September 05, 2011


Have 2 weeks flown by already? I'm a slave to my agenda and am constantly updating and recreating and SOMEtimes crossing off items on my to-do list. It's all still start of the year EXTRA stuff that has to be done and takes time and "gets in the way of" actual planning of what I need to teach.

I did something crazy. A student wanted to take an online computer science/programming course, and our AP asked me if I thought the student could handle it. Hah! This kid can totally do it, so I said yes, she is self-motivated and can handle the course load. Then the AP asked if I would help the student if she needed it. While my mind was processing the answer, "yes", my mind also thought that even though I took/passed the teacher certification test to teach programming, I haven't actually PROGRAMMED in ages (let alone JAVA programming), and then my mind ran through various scenarios of the student asking me for help and me just sitting there with a stunned look on my face not being helpful at all. So. While these horror pictures were running through my head, my mouth decided that the best solution would be to utter the words, "why don't I take the online course with her?"

Flash forward to this weekend where the bulk of my time has been to do our first real reading and doing assignment. It's a semester-long course given through University of Missouri, and it's an AP CS course like in high school. The instructor has it all neatly and well laid out online. There are weekly assignments and midterm/final tests and forums we need to participate in. But ..... bzzzzzzzzzzzzy.

The positive side is that by January, when choice sheets come around for next year, I'll be in a much better position to show what a programming class would look like.

Did you know that there is an actual Pearson book for AP CS classes? I respect the Pearson books in general because they don't seem as "babyish" as the Holt book I have for Geometry. The one seems great so far.

Am a a juvenile in thinking upon seeing "Cara Cocking"'s name that she totally must have taken a lot of ribbing in school (or her husband did if that's the case).


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    There are a lot of computer scientists who think that the AP CS course (though a faithful reflection of many college intro programming courses) is a terrible way to teach programming. Java is not a good choice for the first programming language to teach someone (though it is a useful one for people to learn eventually).

    You'll have to decide at some point whether the goal is to teach Java or to teach programming. (The AP CS curriculum definitely favors Java over programming.)

  2. You're right, I've heard that a ton about JAVA not being the best intro as a first language. I'm going back and forth on it ...

    I'm loving the fact about being a student and learning it more in depth myself. I guess I'll see how the course plays out and what I think will be good for my students.

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