Mr. John Meinzen

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." Winston Churchill

The College Board
Advanced Placement™ Computer Science Principles Workshop

Rocky River High School, OH

November 8, 2019


Start of Workshop

Searchable Learning Standards

8:00 - 8:40 Lesson 1 : AP CSP: Engaging All Students [Mark Selections in Handbook]

Key Takeaway - An underlying goal of AP CSP is to broaden participation.


Welcome & Introduction : leader : John Meinzen


Workshop Handbook and Course & Exam Description : mark selections :

  1. Handbook : Pages 06-54 : Morning Session : Lessons 1-7

  2. Handbook : Pages 55-75 : Afternoon Session : Lessons 4 (again), 8-11

  3. Handbook : Pages 78-79 : binary representation

  4. Course & Exam Description : Pages 86-103 : Sample Exam MC Questions

  5. Course & Exam Description : Pages 118-124 : Exam Reference Sheets

Workshop Handbook : Lesson 1 : Think-Pair-Share strategy

  1. Page 6 : List Classroom Activities to build inclusive, engaging, and creative environment.

  2. Pages 7 & 8 : Read the Projected Job Chart & Diversity Challenges

    • Identify and discuss at least one potential consequence if this trend continues.

  3. Pages 10-12 : What is "Computational Thinking"?

  4. Pages 14-16 : How does AP CSP fit into your school and students' experience?

Re-group based on similar class environments : Collaborative strategy

  1. Discuss AP CSP and AP CSA within your schools :

  2. Innovation :

    • What is it and what is it not? One definition is here.

    • Identify one computing innovation in education that may have a beneficial and harmful effect on the economy, culture or society.

    • This is part of a Performance Task that students are required to do.


  3. Equity & Access focus issues :

8:40 - 9:00 Lesson 2 : Six Big Ideas & Learning Objectives [ Curriculum Framework and Binary]

Key Takeaway - Big Ideas are not individual units to be taught. Knowledge of the content is essential and is defined and expressed in the curriculum framework that teachers must constantly return to.


Search CSP Curriculum Framework - John's "Create" Task

  • about 300 Essential Knowledge (EK) statements

  • within 44 Learning Objectives (LO)

  • encapsulated in 24 Enduring Understandings (EU)

  • and 7 Big Ideas (BI)


Quick Overview

  1. Trying looking up the following : "Big Idea 2", EU 2.1", "LO 2.1.2", "EK 2.1.2D", and "EK 2.1.1C".
    Can you explain what they have in common?

  2. Which one category (BI, EU, LO, or EK) specify what students are to "do" on a performance task?
    Hint: these always start with a "verb".

  3. Which one category (BI, EU, LO, or EK) can be written as questions on an exam?

  4. Use the "Search All 7 Big Ideas" tab.
    How many lines contain the word "abstract"? [35]


Activity : Binary Numbers EK2.1.1 C, D, E, & G

Read Handbook : Pages 78-79 : Binary Representation of a Number : requires 1 blank sheet : Modeling Strategy


9:00 - 9:30 Lesson 3 : Seven Computational Thinking Practices [Read Performance Tasks]

Key Takeaway - To be successful on the AP CSP exam, students must demonstrate proficiency with the 7 Computational Thinking Practices... which are not separate topics but rather integrate throughout the 6 Big Ideas.


Workbook : Page 21 : Read the student directions for the two Performance Tasks

  • Course and Exam Description : Pages 108-112 : Explore Performance Task

  • Course and Exam Description : Pages 113-117 : Create Performance Task

  • Underline the parts describing what students have to do to complete each task.


Student handouts from John's High School AP CSP course.

9:30 -10:00 Lesson 4 : Developing Student Understanding : Explore Task [Rubric]

Key Takeaway - Examining performance tasks & rubrics encourages teachers to gauge student proficiency of Enduring Understandings.


Overview of Assessments:

  • 60% : End Of Course AP Exam

    • 2 hours on Friday, 15May starting at 8AM local time

    • 74 multiple choice with both single- and multi-selections

  • 24% : Create Performance Task : Applications from Ideas, due date is 30Apr

  • 16% : Explore Performance Task : Implications of Computing Innovations, due date is 30Apr


Explore Performance Task Overview

Iteration #1: Initial Understanding of Explore Task & Scoring
  • Investigate :

    • Provide Student Guidelines : Course & Exam Description : Pages 108-118 [must be handed out to students]

    • Read Teacher Guidelines : Course & Exam Description : Pages 71-83 [should be read to understand what you, as teacher, can and cannot do]

  • Explore :

      • Read through College Board's May 2019 Scoring Guidelines and Notes.

      • Students select 3 topics of interest from a reliable source:

        • The first topic is their "throw-away" topic to begin practicing mini-Explore Task

        • The second topic may be used for detailed practice.

        • The third (favorite) topic can be used for final Explore Task to be submitted as part of student's Digital Portfolio.


        Use of professional organizations' flagship magazines such as IEEE Spectrum and ACM Communications help generate ideas for student explorations and provide reliable references.

  • Evaluate :

  • Documentation :

Iteration #2 : In-Depth Exploration Task and Scoring
Iteration #3 : Student Practice of Simple Explore Task
  • Investigate with students:

    Explore with students:

    • Use professional organizations' flagship magazines such as IEEE Spectrum and ACM Communications to help generate ideas for furture student explorations and provide reliable references.

    • Have students explore one other resource and specify reliability (i.e. would be biased regarding facebook app?)

    Create :

    • Have students do a single PowerPoint "Computational Artifact" slide.

      Have students complete a Written Response but limit paragraphs to one sentence per row of Scoring Guideline.

  • Evaluate :

    • Have students cross-score each other's response and give constructive feedback for each row.

  • Documentation :

    • Have each student reflect on changes they will implement for their "real" Explore Task.

Morning Break - 15 min

10:00-10:30 Lesson 5 : P1: Connecting Computing [Exam Questions, Strategies, and Internet Protocols]

Key Takeaway - Connections between people and computing can be seen in the innovations being developed both positively and negatively. Teachers should set expectations and focus when assigning readings.


  1. Read Question 7 : Pages 88-89 : Course & Exam Description

    • What skills do students need to have to answer this question?

    • What might need to be taught prior to developing these skills?

  2. Read Questioning & Instructional Cues and Instructional Strategies : Page 47 : Course & Exam Description

    • What questions & strategies are are you familiar with and which would best help students?

  3. Read Article : "Cell Phones Help Track Flu on Campus" : Pages 40-41 : Handbook

    • What would the student impact be for pre-Reading or KWHL charts (see Page 19 : Handbook for example of KWHL)

    • What other Instructional Strategies (see Page 62 : Course & Exam Description) could be used to introduce students to Explore Task readings?

Activity : Internet Messages EU 6.1 & 6.2

The Internet Protocols : Large Group and Modeling Strategies

  • Requires approximately 5-10 blank sheets of paper.

    Select a single word or message that is difficult to guess.

    Write only one letter from the word (or one word from the message) on each piece of paper.

  • The goal is to send the word or message--one piece of paper at a time--from one person (sender) to one other person (receiver) through a network of computers (the rest of the students in the class).

  • Position the sender and receiver on opposite sides of the classroom. The rest of the students must sit between the sender and receiver within arms-length of each other. Each student must be sitting in such a way that they can only reach up to 4 other students. There must be more than one possible path from the sender to the receiver.

  • The word or message is be passed as quickly as possible--hand-to-hand--through a series of computers (the students) without walking.

  • This may be repeated several times...use of Instructional Strategy : Kinesthetic Learning.

  • Example of Keywords & Concepts in Learning Objectives: packet, transmission, routing, lossy data, security, latency, scalability, distributed systems, redundancy, addressing (DNS), reliability, phishing, DDoS, protocols (TCP/IP)

  • Have students look up "internet" in the Curriculum Framework, identify the 30 lines (approx.), and explain (or ask someone to explain) each line in terms of the activity...remember that EK's are "easier" than LO's

10:30-11:15 Lesson 6 : P2: Creating Computational Artifacts [Algorithm Development, Iteration 1 & 2 PB&J]

Key Takeaway - Incremental performance tasks that are sequenced and scaffolded buld student skills. Innovations emerge when computational artifacts are creatively designed to solve complex problems.


Create Performance Task Overview


Development Process & Collaboration : Page 44 : Course & Exam Description

  1. Investigate

  2. Plan

  3. Design

  4. Create/Implement

  5. Evaluate/Test (may also use Test-Driven development as 1st step)

  6. Document (may also use documentation as 1st step)

Introductory Activity : Expressing an Algorithm in a Language LO 4.1.2 & EK 4.1.2G

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Algorithm : Collaborative Strategies

  • Iteration #1: Describe 7-10 steps that someone could follow to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Assume the person following your list of instructions is as "dumb" as a computer. You may create your own "commands."

  • Iteration #2: After the list of instructions are specified, encourage a re-writing and refining using Computer Science terms such as "select" "if", "iterate", "list", and "sequence" (i.e. write steps as an algorithm). Gallery-walk.


11:15-11:45 Lesson 7 : P5: Communicating : Six Questions [Content over Quality]

Key Takeaways -
1. Effective communication requires modeling and practice for students to master.
2. Algorithms are used to develop and express solutions to computational problems.
3. Using relevant and credible sources is a way to engage students while building the skill of connecting computing.

Activity : How do you "teach" your students to communicate?

  1. Read Directions : Page 49 : Handbook... you have 5 minutes and should work alone. Marking the Text Strategy

  2. Exchange your responses with a partner.

  3. Evaluate each other's responses to determine the number of questions (listed below) that were answered : Think-Pair-Share Strategy

    • Six Questions : who, what, where, when, why, and how.

  4. Consider the following statement:

    • "What makes one student's response better than another is not the quality of writing, but the content of what is communicated."

  5. Evaluate the following two sentences. Which would score higher in terms of quality of writing? In content?

    1. "The ablty to vidio anyone, anywher and share in the intrnet using only our phones causez poeple too behav diffrnt in privat & publc. Sum poeple act crazeer for atention but othrs, like polise, act to be more cuatious--each can be good if it helps poeple improve thier lives or bad if it hurts if its spying dependin on the sitation."

    2. "Our smart phones have the most amazing photographic and recording capabilities. Combined with access to the internet, we have the ability to share instantly pictures or videos with friends and family. Who whould not want to have the best smart phone?"

  6. Read Key Takeaways #1 and #2 above. How would you create an algorithm (i.e. sequential, iterative, and selection steps...see LO 4.1.2) to create a lesson or unit plan for teaching communication skills to your students?

Evaluating Resources

Students should take note of :

  • The site's domain [.edu, .ru, .ch, .com, .tv, .gov, etc.]

  • The author and/or publisher of the site [is there an "attribution" or responsible individual?]

  • Accuracy and verifiability of the information [peer-reviewed material or opinions?]

  • Objective-based information or opinion-based information.

  • Date of information.

  • Links to other credible sources of related information.


Use of professional organizations' flagship magazines such as IEEE Spectrum and ACM Communications help generate ideas for student explorations and provide reliable references.

11:45-12:45pm Lunch

12:45- 1:15 Lesson 4 (revisited) : Developing Understanding : Create Task [Scoring Guideline]

Key Takeaway - Examining performance task & rubrics encourages teachers to gauge student proficiency of Enduring Understandings.


Activity : Teaching Abstraction Development: [Iteration 3 & 4 for PB&J]

Pages 52-54 : Handbook : Large Group Strategy and Modeling Algorithms using FlowCharts

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Algorithm : Collaborative Strategies

  • Iteration #1: Describe 7-10 steps that someone could follow to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Assume the person following your list of instructions is as "dumb" as a computer. You may create your own "commands."

  • Iteration #2: After the list of instructions are specified, encourage a re-writing and refining using Computer Science terms such as "select" "if", "iterate", "list", and "sequence" (i.e. write steps as an algorithm). Gallery-walk.

  • Iteration #3: Introduce the "Exam Reference Sheet" on pages 118-124 of Course and Exam Description and have students re-write their algorithm(s). Gallery-walk

  • Iteration #4: Identify a sequence of steps that may be repeated (or just specify that 30 PB&J sandwiches are to be made) and "abstract" them into a procedure. Then re-write the program to include use of the abstraction. Gallery-walk.

Create Performance Task Overview

  • Recommendation : students should be taught how to write "mini-create tasks." Consider Scaffolding Strategies

1:15 - 1:45 Lesson 8 : P3: Abstracting [Exam Questions & Reference Sheet, focus on Question 17]

Key Takeaway -
1. Abstracting allows us to use generalizations to make our programs with code segments that are reusable, save time, and increase readability.
2. Computers use abstracting to create meaning out of data stored in bits by displaying them as text, pictures, etc.

Data Abstraction : Essential Knowledge

Binary Digits (bits) -> Data -> Information


Read Questions 1 & 3: Pages 86 & 87 : Course and Exam Description

  1. What levels of data abstractions are needed for students to answer these questions?

  2. Name the 3 numeric abstractions of bits listed in LO 2.1.1

  3. Name the 3 data abstractions of bits listed in LO 2.1.1

  4. Answers

    1. A. Numbers are abstractions of bits and the exponent (or power) of 2 is represented by a bit's position in a sequence of bits

      B. Character data are abstractions of decimal and hexadecimal numerals which are abstractions of bits.

    2. binary, decimal, hexadecimal

    3. numbers, colors, characters

Algorithm Abstraction : Learning Objectives Question 17

Low-level Abstractions : variables -> statements (sequential, iterative, conditional)

Read Question 17 : Page 99 : Course & Exam Description

Review Exam Reference Sheet : Pages 119-124 : Course & Exam Description

  1. How many variables are used?

  2. How many statements are used?

  3. What type of statements are used?

  4. Answers

    two : i, sum

    7 total

    5 assignment, 1 iteration (REPEAT UNTIL), 1 display


High-level Abstractions : variables+statements -> Parameters+Procedures

Read Question 17 : Page 99 : Course & Exam Description

  1. Read the PROCEDURES block : Page 123 : Exam Reference Sheet : Course & Exam Description

  2. How would you abstract these 7 statements into a Procedure?

  3. How would you replace the "i=4" with a Parameter?



Read Questions 8 & 14 : Pages 91 & 96 : Course & Exam Description

  1. Is there a difference between writing an abstraction and understanding a given abstraction?

  2. Which--writing or understanding an abstraction--would show up on a Performance Task and which would show up on the Written Exam?

1:45 - 2:15 Lesson 9 : P4: Analyzing Problems and Artifacts [Question 17 Handbook]

Key Takeaways -
1. Error Analysis strategies allow students to better ascertain the result of a segment of program code under different circumstances.
2. The way data is represented influences its interpretation and the insight and knowledge gained.

Code Analysis

Complete Lesson 9 : Page 62 : Handbook

Review the following Instructional Strategies : Pages 60-64 : Course & Exam Description

  • Code Tracing with Memory Map

  • Error Analysis

  • Predict and Compare

  • Work Backwards


For additional Code Analysis, practice on Questions 5, 8, 10, and 14

Data Representations & Visualizations

Complete Lesson 9 : Pages 64-65 : Handbook : Interpret Spider Graph of Internet Cafe' Prices

Programming Instructional Strategies

Complete Lesson 9 : Pages 62-66 : Handbook : Instructional Strategies to Enhance Teacher Practices


For more advanced teaching strategies see Pedagogical Patterns : Advice for Educators; Joe Bergin, et al, ISBN: 978-1-4791718-2-8

Afternoon Break - 15 min

2:45 - 3:15 Lesson 10 : P6: Collaborating [Pair Programming a Square]

Key Takeaway - Collaboration comes in many forms. Students should have many opportunities to practice collaboration in a variety of situations and ways.


Complete Lesson 10 : Pages 69-71 : Handbook : Instructional Strategies & Pair Programming Practice

  • Development process to focus on algorithm collaboration to draw a Square with a Partner:
    1. Driver : Draw a square freehand.
      Navigator : State, verbally, the sequence of commands (or instructions) the driver used to draw a square.
    2. Driver : Use pseudocode (block or text-based) to write a sequence of instructions to draw a square.
      Navigator : Use the Exam Reference Sheet : Pages 119-124 : Course & Exam Description to point out corrections or clarifications to the Driver to improve the accuracy of the pseudocode.
    3. Reverse Roles for each Partner : Improve the algorithm by using a loop.
    4. Reverse Roles for each Partner : Incorporate an abstraction by using a procedure using a parameter for the length of the side of a square.
    5. Reverse Roles for each Partner : Incorporate an additional abstraction by creating any polygon.


Programming Languages List : Page 39 : Course & Exam Description


Support for skill-diverse class of students : create teams of 4-5 students with roles for a Captain, 1st Officer, and crew.


For more advanced teaching strategies see Pedagogical Patterns : Advice for Educators; Joe Bergin, et al, ISBN: 978-1-4791718-2-8

3:30 - 4:00 Lesson 11 : Selecting Resources to Teach AP CSP [ Submissions]

Key Takeaway - Resources should be selected based on their alignment with the AP CSP Curriculum Framework and meet the needs of their students. The background of your students should influence decisions, such as choice of programming language.

Online Resources approved by the College Board

for Teachers

for Students

Course Main Page with Links to:

  • AP CSP Course Home Page on AP Central

  • AP CSP Student Site (& Spanish version)

  • Recruitment Strategies

  • Endorsed Providers of CSP Curricula & Pedagogical support

    • Beauty and Joy of Computing (BJC) - block-based visual learning [drag-n-drop], exploratory & collaborative approach...try this

    • CodeCombat - game-based learning in JavaScript or Python with dashboard to track student progress.

    • CodeHS - online learning environment using JavaScript. Students develop their own website.

    • - daily lessons, videos, tutorials [drag-n-drop], assessments and more...try this

    • CS Matters- inquiry-based learning focused on data & processing of data in real-world. Python based.

    • CS50 -Harvard University. Rigorously designed around programming but requires no prior knowledge. Scratch, C, PHP Python, JavaScript, and SQL

    • Mobile CSP - using App Inventor [drag-n-drop] for Android devices, full curriculum...see this

    • EMC School - Zulama from Carnegie Mellon University. Hands-on game programming for collaboration & high-tech job preparation. GML language.

    • Project Lead The Way (PLTW) - full K-12 STEM program, uses Python

    • UTeach CS Principles - U of Texas at Austin, project-based and authentic problem solving [pseudo-code based]. Lesson plans and pacing guides with scaffolding and student support

AP CSP Student Main Page

  • Future careers and college majors

  • Enrollment requirements

  • Exam scores, fees and reductions

  • Practice for Exam

  • Sample activities

  • FAQs


  • 15 October - preferred deadline to complete online registration for AP Exam...allows students to access APClassroom via

  • 15 November - last day to complete online registration without incurring late-registration fee ($45).

    • 2nd semester-only courses : 13 March is last day to complete online registration without incurring late registration fee.

  • 15 April : suggested online submissions to Digital Portfolio of Create and Explore Performance Tasks

  • 30 April : last day to submit Performance Tasks [Create and Explore]

  • 10 May, Friday, 12 noon : End-of-Course Exam Day (2 hours)...conflicts with Physics 2


AP CSP Course Home Page on AP Central

  • Course and Exam Description

  • Exam Information along with Dates and Times

  • Course Planning and Pacing Guide Samples (4)

  • Webinars

  • Course Audit [requires free Professional Login Account]

Approved Textbook List (as of March 6, 2017)

  • Schneider, G. Michael, Judith Gresting. Invitation to Computer Science. 7th ed. National Geographic/Cengage Learning

  • Parsons, June. New Perspectives on Computer Science 2016: Comprehensive. 18th ed. National Geographic/Cengage Learning

  • AP CSP Community [requires free Professional Login Account]

  • AP Mentoring : online video chat with your choice of mentor and up to 3 other mentees, 12 hour-long sessions throughout year, non-free (< $900)

AP Computer Science Principles Toolkit

  • Testimonial Videos

  • Recruitment Brochures and Posters

  • Email templates, presentations, and banner ads

Digital Portfolio : Submissions of Performance Tasks by Students

Other Online Support

for Teachers

for Students


Ideas to Explore:

Advanced Programming Projects & Practice

Online Student Programming Practice & Learning Tools

Online Coding Projects & Curriculum

Larger Coding Projects (some with API's)


practice coding problems in Java or Python (

Free (Hour of Code)

non-profit dedicated to expanding access and diversity in CS


PracticeIt -

higher order practice coding problems in Java.


Requires subscription.

Stanford Nifty CS Projects Google Computer Science for High School (


Editor & IDE to help visualize Object Instances


Project Euler

progressively more difficult math problems that can be solved using CS.

Google Educational Programs for Students & Teachers


Visualization for Understanding Object Instances & Variables Dynamically (i.e. visual debugger)


Princeton's Interdisciplinary CS Lectures

Georgia Techs' EarSketch

downloadable Python-based project to learn computer science and music technology side by side

For experienced AP CSP teachers, please be aware of the following updates/changes in coming years:

  • Updates/changes/support starting Fall 2018-19 school year

    Changes to AP CSP Course:


    Additional support for all AP courses:

    • AP Teachers - informational videos planned for January 2019

    • AP Teachers - interactive, self-paced online modules available May 2019

    • AP Coordinators/administrators:

  • Updates/changes/support starting Fall 2019-20 school year

    Changes to AP CSP Course:

    Additional support for most AP courses:

    • May 2019 : AP Teachers - access to interactive, self-paced online Professsional Development modules.

    • Fall 2019 :

      • AP Teachers - access to instructional resources for their registered students [not available for preview at this time]

        • Online Question Bank - customized set of practice questions for in-class or homework assignments,

        • Unit Guides - focus and deepen instruction and scaffold skill instruction across units,

        • Student (i.e. "personal") Progress Checks - students can track their progress in content and skills throughout the course,

        • Performance Dashboards - teachers can pinpoint student strengths and weaknesses on AP content and skills.

        • Exam registration process:

          • At the beginning of the school year, teachers will participate in the exam registration process; by

          • distributing a "join code" to their students. This connects students to their class in the AP Classroom system and gives them access to new practice resources and feedback.

      • AP Coordinators/administrators - student registration of each AP course.

        • 1Aug2019 - start online student registration of each AP course & teacher access codes for their AP student rosters.

        • 4Oct2019 - preferred deadline for registration of students & ordering AP Exams

        • 15Nov2019 - fall deadline to order AP Exams [$94/AP Exam payment due June2020]

        • 13Mar2020 - spring deadline to order AP Exams & fall order changes [$134/late AP Exam]

        • April2020 - receive personalized student registration labels (AP ID) & AP Exams

        • June2020 - payment due date

  • Updates/changes/support starting Fall 2020-21 school year

    Changes to AP CSP Curriculum:

      • Big Ideas will be reframed to convey themes that should be taught across units developed in a typical college computer science course.

      • Learning objectives will be more specific, giving teachers and students a clearer understanding of the course objectives.


    Changes to AP CSP Assessments:

    • Explore Performance Task changes:

      • Students will no longer have the Explore Performance Task as part of their through-course assessment starting in 2020-21, though teachers will still need to incorporate the skills and content assessed in the Explore Performance Task in classroom instruction.

      • Students will be required to complete an investigation into computing innovations that’s similar to the existing Explore Performance Task.

      • Students will be assessed on the skills and content from Explore on the multiple-choice portion of the exam starting in 2020-21.

    • Create Performance Task changes:

      • Students will get revised instructions to clarify the expectations for developing algorithms and new requirements for the development of specific abstractions.


    Timeline for significant AP CSP changes:

    • Fall 2019: available for download: updates to AP CSP 2020-21 Conceptual Framework.

      • Explore Task Teacher Resource [behind Audit login]

      • APClassroom - new online teacher resource to assignmultiple choice problems to students and complete

    • Spring 2020: available for download are updates to:

      • AP CSP Course and Exam Description (CED)

      • AP CSP Practice Exams after Audit (2016 is after teacher syllabus approved, 2018 is after adminstrative assignment to course),

      • AP CSP Webinars for curriculum updates,

      • AP CSP Lesson Plans,

      • AP CSP pre-approved syllabi delivered by endorsed providers.


    • AP Coordinators/administrators: Student registration of each AP course in Fall 2019

      • Aug2019 - start online student registration of each AP course & teacher access codes for their AP student rosters.

      • Oct2019 - preferred deadline for registration of students & ordering AP Exams

      • Nov2019 - final deadline to order AP Exams

      • Mar2020 - spring deadline to order AP Exams & fall order changes [$134/late AP Exam]

      • April2020 - receive personalized student registration labels (AP ID) & AP Exams

      • June2020 - payment due date



Changes impacting AP CSP only are officially announced here.

Changes impacting all courses are officially announced here.