Our curriculum is project-based: every lesson asks students to create a project with code. Each project highlights specific coding skills. Each lesson is designed to be completed in about an hour, depending on each individual student's pace. Students can also choose to go into greater depth with the capstone projects for each lesson. Activities are automatically graded and progress is monitored on the class dashboard. Once projects are graded by the teacher on the rubric, they are shared to the class page.
Each lesson is divided into three phases: 1. Build 2.Modify 3.Create. Students first build a project following step-by-step instructions. Then students are asked to modify their projects to demonstrate that they understand how the code works. Finally, they are given a blank canvas and a prompt to create their own project. We expect every student to complete the Build Phase, most student to complete the Modify Phase, and many students to complete the Create Phase. The three-phase structure also supports differentiation through multiple exit points.
Every lesson starts with an example that shows students the project they are going to build. Students are taken step-by-step through a series of activities to show them how to build that project. Along the way key coding skills are explained and they receive feedback on their work. Throughout Phase 1, three or four debugging activities help students learn coding syntax and debugging skills. Assignments include both multiple choice questions and free response assessments. Each activity is automatically graded.
Once students have built the exemplary project, we ask them to customize it in several ways. This modification process helps students review how each part of the code works and ensures they understand the overall structure of the program. Finally, students are given a blank canvas and a prompt to make a new project from scratch that uses the skills they have developed. The modify and build projects are assessed by the teacher based on a rubric, and then shared to the class page.