Computer Science Principles

Instructor: Alex Schenk

Dates: July 10 - July 13, 2023 (Monday-Thursday)

Register for Computer Science Principles

AP® CSP APSI Description

This virtual workshop provides teachers with the tools they need to implement an effective AP® Computer Science Principles course. During this training, teachers will explore the computational thinking practices and the components of the curriculum framework. Participants will understand how to use activities that organize the course content to develop students’ proficiencies in the skills identified by the curriculum framework. In addition, participants will work on a course plan that will help them decide how they will teach the skills and content of the course. The Summer Institute agenda is supported by and mapped to the AP® CSP workshop handbook lessons and includes APSI requirements.

 AP® Computer Science Principles Workshop Agenda (30 hours)

Day 1

Understanding the Course

Includes 2.1 CED, Curricular Requirements, Course Introduction (2 hr. requirement)

  1. 2 Diversity & Inclusion (1 hr. requirement)
  2. 3 Strategies and Pedagogical Tools (3 hr. requirement)

On the first day of the Institute, the Course and Exam Description will be unpacked and explored including examination of each big idea, the curricular requirements, Topics, Exam Reference Sheet, through-course assessment, and end-of-course assessment.

Lesson 1: AP® Computer Science Principles: Engaging All Students

Lesson 2: Computational Thinking Practices and the AP® Computer Science Principles course

Lesson 3: Big Ideas and Course at a Glance

Day 2

Teaching the Course

Includes 2.2 Diversity & Inclusion (ongoing)

Day 2 is devoted to preparation for the programming components of the course including scaffolding toward and implementation of the Create Performance Task. Participants will participate in guided programming of a Mock Create PT in both Scratch and a text-based language.

Lesson 4: Instructional Units and Strategies

including a Deep Dive into the Create Performance Task

Day 3 

Planning the Course

Includes 2.2 Diversity & Inclusion (ongoing)

  1. 3 Strategies and Pedagogical Tools (ongoing)
  2. 5 Assess & Reflect (2 hr requirement)

The focus of the morning of day 3 centers on the non-programming components of the course while the latter half of the day centers around course pacing and unit planning for the academic year.

Lesson 5: CSP Curricular Requirements, including Explore Curricular Requirement and Exam Stimulus Set

Lesson 6: Unit Planning, Lesson 7: Instructional Approaches

Day 4

Assessing Progress

Includes 2.4 AP® Classroom & AP® Daily (2 hr. requirement)

Day 4 continues course planning with emphasis on integration of AP® Daily for topic and skill emphasis and AP® Classroom for assessment that can guide teaching and learning as well as use of the teacher’s Instructional Planning Report to guide annual curricular updates toward assessment.

Lesson 8: Assessing Content and Skills

  • AP® Central’s Online Teacher Community + other online collaborative teacher groups
  • Start of School Planning, Strategies, and Resources
  • Create Performance Task and Scoring Guide
  • Algorithms: Sequencing, Selection, and Iteration
  • Abstraction (Procedural and Data)
  • Best practices for teaching computer science
  • Equity and access in recruitment and instruction
  • Strategies for building classroom culture and promoting community
  • Unplugged and collaborative ativities for the CS classroom
  • Programming: Lists, modulus, procedural abstraction, more about the Create PT

We will also cover connecting with AP® Central’s Online Teacher Community; review/completion of the Audit process for access to secure documents is the primary goal of the conclusion of the Institute, and as time allows other content topics will be incorporated.

Topics will include the below.

 Asynchronous Activities during APSI will include the following:

  • Breakout Quiz on the Course and Exam Description
  • Create PT sample responses based on Day 2 Guided Mock CPT
  • Collaborative* course planning for academic year
  • Individual course pacing calendar for coming academic year
  • Collaborative* lesson planning from shared and provider resources
  • Collaborative groups will be formed based on similar academic calendars, endorsed provider(s) resource use, state/district commonality, personal

Participants will be best equipped for participation in the virtual Institute with these supports:

  1. Computer(s) – one device equipped with recommended dual monitors or two devices so that the APSI Zoom can be viewed on one monitor and there is ability to code or view digital resources on the second monitor
  2. Webcam, microphone, earbuds – for Zoom participation and collaboration
  3. Google Account – to access to integrated resources via Google Drive

About the Instructor:

Alex Schenk serves as a lead STEM teacher at Collegiate School of Medicine and Bioscience, a magnet high school in St. Louis Public Schools. As the founding teacher of the computer science program, Alex has overseen growth in computer science from 30 students in 2016 to more than 100 students in 2021. He has developed an innovative 3-year computer science sequence that includes both AP® Computer Science Principles and AP® Computer Science A. Alex has increased participation in STEM learning with a focus on equity and access.

Alex is a College Board® Consultant for AP® Computer Science Principles. He has served as an AP® Reader and a member of the Standard Setting Committee for the course. As a member of the Instructional Design Team, Alex contributed activities for the AP® Computer Science Principles Course and Exam Description published by the College Board® in Fall 2020. In Fall 2019, he attended the AP® Computer Science Teacher Summit hosted at Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California. 

In addition to his role as a STEM teacher, Alex serves as the Student Council Advisor and sponsor of the school's half-marathon training club. He also advises a Cybersecurity Team participating in the annual CyberUp CyberGames. In his free time, Alex enjoys being active, and loves to run, bike, and travel. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Secondary Education and Mathematics from Saint Louis University and his Master of Arts in Educational Technology from Lindenwood University.

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