JAVA Curriculum

Course Design

CPM Computer Science Java encourages collaboration, and focuses on moving students of all programming abilities to a higher level. The course explicitly covers AP® Computer Science A topics. As a curriculum aligned to AP® guidelines this course assumes students have completed mathematics through Algebra 2/Integrated III. While most of the tasks the students perform are similar to what you would find in any first year programming class, the concepts are introduced with much more student conjecture rather than traditional lectures. Read more about the course design.

*Advanced Placement® or AP® is a trademark registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse, this website.

Classroom Setup

It is assumed that the students will have ready access to a classroom set of computers with access to their school’s LMS software. However, it is almost as important to have a classroom space that provides areas for groups of students to collaborate without computers in the way such as tables or desks that can be moved into teams of four.

The Problem Generator

The problem generator is the most important ancillary resource for this curriculum. It is an excellent source of multiple choice and free response questions for assessment, team problems and review. A bank of dynamically generated multiple choice questions parallels each chapter. These questions can assist students in learning computer science vocabulary and common Java implementations. The problems also help build the students' confidence in answering multiple choice exam questions.

Code Tracing

Code tracing assignments aligned with chapter content are a significant part of the free-response problem practice. Code Traces can be created easily with the problem generator. Code traces are a great opportunity to have students work together in teams and on paper. Code tracing enforces teamwork and mixed space practice of important concepts. Commonly used but counter intuitive operations such a modulus and integer division. Methods execute only when called so the order they appear is only aesthetic. The order of code statements within a method is integral to program logic as statements are executed sequentially subject to rules of iteration and if/else logic. Method execution is always terminated when a return statement is reached and control returns to where the method was called. The distinction between reserved words, comments and identifiers.

Course Content

Lessons are accessible by an ebook containing the student text. Teacher notes are provided on a separate tab available in the teacher edition of the ebook. The teacher notes often contain downloadable java source code files compressed into jar files (*.jar). Most of the course concepts are explored or demonstrated through java code, program comments and documentation contained within the jar files. To control the pace of the class throughout the curriculum, teachers will make the *.jar files available to the students via their school’s LMS software on a lesson by lesson basis. The *.jar files have descriptive file names include an underscore “_” followed by a description indicating their purpose. Examples are shown below.

Folder/File suffix Example Contains
SomeLesson_Solution the source code for the solution to a programming assignment. Do not distribute this folder to the students
LessonTopic_Example source code and comments for student learning.
LookHere_Demo a working program. However at least some of the *.java source code is not provided but the program runs using compiled* .class files.
StartHere_Assignment the starting point for student work. Students add class files or methods to these projects. Some of the *.java source code may not be provided but might run using compiled* .class files..
CorrectMe_Answers source code and comments so students may perform a self-check on their work..

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Algebra Tiles Blue Icon

Algebra Tiles Session

  • Used throughout CPM middle and high school courses
  • Concrete, geometric representation of algebraic concepts.
  • Two-hour virtual session,
  •  Learn how students build their conceptual understanding of simplifying algebraic expressions
  • Solving equations using these tools.  
  • Determining perimeter,
  • Combining like terms,
  • Comparing expressions,
  • Solving equations
  • Use an area model to multiply polynomials,
  • Factor quadratics and other polynomials, and
  • Complete the square.
  • Support the transition from a concrete (manipulative) representation to an abstract model of mathematics..

Foundations for Implementation

This professional learning is designed for teachers as they begin their implementation of CPM. This series contains multiple components and is grounded in multiple active experiences delivered over the first year. This learning experience will encourage teachers to adjust their instructional practices, expand their content knowledge, and challenge their beliefs about teaching and learning. Teachers and leaders will gain first-hand experience with CPM with emphasis on what they will be teaching. Throughout this series educators will experience the mathematics, consider instructional practices, and learn about the classroom environment necessary for a successful implementation of CPM curriculum resources.

Page 2 of the Professional Learning Progression (PDF) describes all of the components of this learning event and the additional support available. Teachers new to a course, but have previously attended Foundations for Implementation, can choose to engage in the course Content Modules in the Professional Learning Portal rather than attending the entire series of learning events again.

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Building on Instructional Practice Series

The Building on Instructional Practice Series consists of three different events – Building on Discourse, Building on Assessment, Building on Equity – that are designed for teachers with a minimum of one year of experience teaching with CPM instructional materials and who have completed the Foundations for Implementation Series.

Building on Equity

In Building on Equity, participants will learn how to include equitable practices in their classroom and support traditionally underserved students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Essential questions include: How do I shift dependent learners into independent learners? How does my own math identity and cultural background impact my classroom? The focus of day one is equitable classroom culture. Participants will reflect on how their math identity and mindsets impact student learning. They will begin working on a plan for Chapter 1 that creates an equitable classroom culture. The focus of day two and three is implementing equitable tasks. Participants will develop their use of the 5 Practices for Orchestrating Meaningful Mathematical Discussions and curate strategies for supporting all students in becoming leaders of their own learning. Participants will use an equity lens to reflect on and revise their Chapter 1 lesson plans.

Building on Assessment

In Building on Assessment, participants will apply assessment research and develop methods to provide feedback to students and inform equitable assessment decisions. On day one, participants will align assessment practices with learning progressions and the principle of mastery over time as well as write assessment items. During day two, participants will develop rubrics, explore alternate types of assessment, and plan for implementation that supports student ownership. On the third day, participants will develop strategies to monitor progress and provide evidence of proficiency with identified mathematics content and practices. Participants will develop assessment action plans that will encourage continued collaboration within their learning community.

Building on Discourse

In Building on Discourse, participants will improve their ability to facilitate meaningful mathematical discourse. This learning experience will encourage participants to adjust their instructional practices in the areas of sharing math authority, developing independent learners, and the creation of equitable classroom environments. Participants will plan for student learning by using teaching practices such as posing purposeful questioning, supporting productive struggle, and facilitating meaningful mathematical discourse. In doing so, participants learn to support students collaboratively engaged with rich tasks with all elements of the Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices incorporated through intentional and reflective planning.