Online for the 2023-2024 School Year
Teacher: Mrs. R. Lang
Course Description: For high school students considering careers in computer science, engineering, math or other sciences, computer science is essential, and AP Computer Science A is equivalent to an introductory college level computer science course. Computer science is also an enjoyable subject for students who like math, creative problem-solving, and/or logic. A side benefit to studying computer science is that it has been shown to boost SAT Math scores. Finally, as with other AP courses, demanding, rigorous coursework in high school has been shown to correlate with college success!
This course teaches students Java and prepared them for the AP CSA exam. You can see The College Board's brief overview here. I will emphasize object-oriented programming methodology with a concentration on problem solving and algorithm development. Students will learn to code by reading our textbook, watching videos, interacting with each other and TAs, and most importantly, designing, coding, documenting and testing Java programs. This is a hands-on, project-based course. There will also be opportunities for students to exercise their creativity by designing their own custom Java classes.
As a member of this class, you will be part of an online community. You will be interacting with your classmates, TAs, and teacher, Ms. Rebekah, through our class website on Schoology.com, email, and optional “live” Zoom and Discord office hours hosted by TAs. Ms. Rebekah also posts weekly work introductory videos to orient you to the assignments and give you helpful test prep tips. Through Schoology.com, you will post any questions you may have about the software, reading material or the homework assignments, answer each others' questions, discuss computer science topics, and upload homework. You will have opportunities to work independently or collaboratively, asynchronously or live, depending on your availability.
One outstanding feature of this course is its TAs! Each year, we have at least a dozen or so teacher's assistants who work hard to help current students to succeed! I hire TAs who have done amazing course work in the past and have also earned a 5 on the AP CSA exam. These are students who know how to ace the course and exam and want to help others to do so as well! They will run weekly office hours, check in with small groups, and maintain an "unofficial" Discord channel where students can pop in to post questions and code. They create a sense of community with students in the course too. So students in this course not only have a teacher for support, they also have incredible TAs and peer leaders that they can work alongside!
- Textbook: CSAwesome by Dr. Barbara Ericson, Dr. Beryl Hoffman, and team, available free online through Runestone Academy.
- Optional Test Prep: Barron’s AP Computer Science A. Roselyn Teukolsky. Latest edition (announced in the Spring).
- Additional supplemental sites: Schoology, CodingBat, Replit, myAP, Kjell's Programmed Lessons, CodeHS, Code.org (possibly), Discord (unofficially), YouTube
- Computer with audio, high-speed internet access, and email
- We will use Replit.com for our integrated development environment (IDE). It is free and available online.
Prerequisites: All students must have completed Algebra II with B or better and have experience in problem solving. A student in the AP Computer Science A course should be comfortable with functions and the concepts found in the uses of functional notation. Previous computer programming experience is not required, but is certainly helpful. Prospective students should be ready to commit 10 hours to working alone on the computer each week. (Students without the necessary math prerequisite or those not planning on majoring in CS in college should consider AP Computer Science Principles instead. AP CSA is more challenging than AP CSP.)
Course Dates: I post work each Monday, which is then due the following Monday. There will be weekly TA office hours scheduled in August after I survey enrolled students and TAs to determine the best meeting times. The course will run approximately Monday, September 11th, through approximately Friday, May 16th, 2022 (depending on the date of the AP exam), except for the following breaks:
- November 18 - 26 for Thanksgiving break
- December 16 - January 1 for winter break
- March 30- April 7th for spring break
If you need additional time off or flexibility with deadlines, you can always email for adjustments.
Grading Approach: My goal is to help all students to learn the coursework well enough to earn an A! I loosely follow a standards-based grading approach, where students are graded based on what they know and what they can do rather than on their timeliness or compliance. Tests are meant to assess as well as prepare students for the AP exam. There are also project grades which comprise a large percentage of the overall course grade. I accept test corrections and late work, and make all the accommodations I can to help all students to succeed. Also, students who score a 5 on the AP Exam will have their grade updated to an A+ for the course.
Course Fee: Regular Tuition Fee $800. Audit: $400. I am committed to helping all high school students learn computer science, so please contact me if you need help paying for the course.
Please Apply for the Course HERE before submitting payment. I check the applications weekly in the Spring and summer, and I will send you a follow up message with the status of your application before you pay for the course.
Ms. Rebekah's Qualifications: This will be my fourth year teaching AP CSA for AP Homeschoolers. I also teach AP CS Principles and Computer Science Discoveries for AP Homeschoolers. My 2022 AP Homeschoolers students had an average AP Exam score of 4.36/5 (the global average was 3.21). In 2022, 94% of my students "passed" with a 3 out of 5 or higher (the global average was 67.7%). I am a lifelong teacher and learner who has taught in public, charter, private and online for AP Homeschoolers, for middle and high school students, for the past 14 years. (I currently teach AP CSA, Intro. to Java, Advanced Java, and Web Design in person for a local private school). Additionally, I was homeschooled, so I understand how diverse, independent, intelligent and engaged homeschooled students are. I'm excited to be able to offer this course to work alongside students studying computer science!
In addition to earning my BA in English and Secondary Education from Grove City College, I also have a MS in curriculum and instruction from Western Governors University, a certificate from Penn State University Lehigh Valley for teaching English Language Learners, various state teaching certifications for NJ and PA, and educator certifications from various tech companies. To learn more about computer science, I have attended CSpd week once, the annual CSTA conference four times, and a Code.org week long AP CSP Summer Learning Institute. I have also participated in Cooperative Learning Research for Computer Science Principles. I have read for the AP CSP exam as a distributed reader for the past 5 summers and plan to read for the AP CSA exam this year. I am also a CS for All Teachers Ambassador and CS Awesome RPP PD Facilitator.