Friday, April 24, 2020

Planning for the End of the Year

My school will be on our regularly scheduled April break next week. It’s a nice breather for me and probably for the students as well. It’s been a long time since I have had a school aged child in the house so I don’t know what it will be like for parents. One of the things I will be doing is planning. How am I going to finish up this school year?

We’re not doing our normal end of semester/year major assessments. You might think that simplifies things but it really doesn’t. I have final exams and finial project plans already made up. They are no no use to me now.

My Advanced Placement Computer Science Principles students will be finishing up their Explore Task, the last part of the work they are required to complete for the AP Exam, early the week we restart.  I’m looking at various topics to go deeper into as we finish the year. I might as well take advantage of the time that way.

My Honors Programming class has covered the regularly planned material. This is partially a result of the weird schedule, an exceptional group of students, and the fact that normally we would be starting semester projects soon after April break. I don’t really want to add the stress of sneaking in a major project. Two major benefits of the semester project are that they help students see what they have learned in a larger context and that it lets them explore some new ideas on their own. What I am thinking now is that I will introduce some fun stuff that we don’t always get to and let them work on a couple of smaller, but hopefully interesting and challenging, projects. This may achieve what the major semester project usually does.

My freshmen still have new material to learn. They also normally get a semester project to work on but we’ll actually not have as much time for that as I would like One of the other teachers teaching that course is talking about modeling the design and creation of a more complicated project for the students. Not requiring them to write it themselves but seeing him model the design process.. That’s an interesting idea. I haven’t decided what I want to do though. What ever it is has to include most of the major concepts we have learned so far and help students see it in context though. That is my task to develop over the break.

Also, over the break I will spend some time working on some little educational and, hopefully fun, games for my 5 year old grandson. I wrote him a memory game using pictures of him and his family this week and he seems to enjoy it. I’m playing with some sight reading game ideas now.

SO how are you wrapping up your school year? Something different from normal?

1 comment:

Garth said...

No finals which does not bother me. I hate tests. Wrapping hours of concepts into one package just does not seem right to me. I cannot think of many real jobs that require you to sit and regurgitate on paper like that. I typically spread my final over several days. Shorter and less stress on the kids. This year I can not think of any good way to give a test that would not turn into a collaborative effort from a number of students. My Stats class will get a project. Each student will have a different set of data to crunch. A pain to grade, 33 different answers but the best I can think of. Honors 2 Math has me stumped a bit. Not all have convenient internet so I cannot give a test over Zoom. I will have to think of a relevant project. My Game/Unity class is working on their final project right now.

Over all I am satisfied the my students will be ready for next year, no matter if college, job or next year of high school.