AP Computer Science Principles
Daily Schedule by Unit
In this course, you are going to learn how to write programs and gain a better understand of how computers, data, and the internet work. The main focus of the course will be on learning how to write code in the processing programming language.
Pencil or Pen
Learning Processing by Dan Shiffman
Unit One - Roboquest*
Solve a series of puzzle-like challenges to help guide Karel the Robot to achieve various tasks (Q1)
Unit Two - Drawing
Build your own programs from scratch using variables, methods, conditionals, and loops. (Q1-Q2)
Unit Three - Arrays*
Build even more complex programs using collections of data (Q2)
Unit Four - Create
Complete your AP Performance Task by designing and coding a program of your own design. (Q3)
Unit Five - Objects*
Learn about Object Oriented Programming to develop more flexible and interactive programs. (Q3)
Unit Six - Big Ideas*
Study critical topics like data, networking, and cybersecurity to prepare for the AP Exam. (Q4)
Unit Seven - Space Shooter
Your final project is designing an interactive "space shooter" style game (Q4)
Each quarter students earn points for completing projects and taking a unit test.
Projects (Minor Grades - 70%)
Projects are completed at your own pace and are submitted for grading on checkpoint days.
Students are encouraged to keep up with the class, but there are no late penalties for falling behind.
Mr. M will provide a benchmark for progress. You'll always know if you're ahead or behind.
If you end a quarter exactly on the benchmark, your project grade will be 100%.
If you end a quarter behind the benchmark, you can still earn points for projects you haven't attempted next quarter. For example, a student who earns a "C" each quarter might end the class having progressed 75% of the way through the class and never attempt the final project.
If you end a quarter ahead of the benchmark, all the extra points you earned are rolled into the next quarter. That way if something comes up and you need to slow down, you have a buffer.
Tests (Major Grade - 30%)
You can expect one test per quarter.
The units marked with asterisks above each will contain a test
During the 4th quarter, this will usually be an AP Practice Test
Tests are taken on paper and will assess both vocabulary and your ability to write code.
Everyone takes tests at the same time on scheduled days.
Students may attempt to redo each test one time for a maximum grade of 80%.
Note: The second score will be recorded as the grade, even if it is lower than the first.
The course is much easier if you stay on track or ahead of the lessons. Falling behind isn't directly penalized, but it rarely works out well. You'll find that the tests become more challenging and you'll have difficulty understanding the lectures. So if you are lost, get help early and catch up as soon as you can.
Mr. M will walk you through practice assignments, but provide limited help on graded ones. But if you understand the practice projects, you'll be able to do the graded ones without much difficulty.
Work with peers but don't lean on them *too* hard.
If you find yourself just copying code from friends (aka cheating), you'll likely fail the major tests.
On the flip side, working with peers to help understand problems in your code is a great way to learn.