Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Time = Curriculum Planning

It's Summer and the time when my hubby gets jealous and annoyed that I have time off.  However, I always feel that I am working.  This summer I have two curriculums to write, two curriculums to review and adjust to a new schedule and one to refresh myself on since I haven't taught it in a few years.  In addition I am taking two MOOCs one that I am seriously behind on, and attending three conferences.  This is stuff I can not get done during the school year but can during the three hours in the morning that the toddler is off to summer preschool.

The two curriculums I am writing I am excited about.  One is Designing Emerging Technologies (DET).  This is a class to come after Intro to Programming and offer students a chance to blend hardware and software together.  It really is a MAKE class.  The class will look at designing something (up to the students).  My plan is to take the girls to the Makerfaire in September so that they can see what is out there to get the creative juices flowing.  I also plan on including some Makey Makey, Ardunio components and some building of circuits.  It is a trimester course so it runs for 7 cycles, I like to plan per cycle for the courses that are trimester to make sure that we can fit everything in.   There are two cycles before the Makerfaire so I plan to introduce the major topics of electronics during this time.

My Rough outline so far looks like this:
Cycle 1:  Electronics
Cycle 2:  Ardunio Play
Cycle 3:  Plan a Project to create
Cycle 4, 5, 6 Create Project
Cycle 7  Wrap up with a display and possible mini project.

The second curriculum is Computer Science Principles (CSP).  This course is based on the proposed AP course Computer Science Principles. Therefore it already has lots of ideas out there and in fact, I am right now taking a MOOC that is all about CSP.  This is the MOOC, I am massively behind but I am hoping to catch up since there is also a break coming up in the course.  This course I am still wrapping my head around as it is teaching abstract ideas of Computational Thinking with using very little of a actual programming language.  This is a full year course and the idea is to blend the six big ideas of the course together in units. The six big ideas are Creativity, Abstraction, Data and Information, Algorithms, Programming and the Internet.  The idea of the course is to be collaborative and project based.  I am looking forward to designing it but am still gathering information before I outline the course.  I am hoping the MOOC and the Collegeboard conference will give me some good ideas for the units and activities.