Hello students! Apparently, PYLUSD district officials can’t make up their mind after thinking about grades and scheduling for five weeks! In fairness to them, they’ve had a lot on their plate, “best” practices are changing daily, and they’ve been pulled in a lot of different directions, I get that. But, you know… pick something please and go with it 🙂
Anyway, the positive of all of this is that you, the student, now have more options. So from your perspective, this is all good news. You can stick with Pass / Incomplete if your grade remains “low” by the end of the school year, OR you can attempt to “move up” your grade in the A-D range if you had a “B” grade or lower. Those of you that had an “A” grade as of March 13th are in the best position of all, and I would argue that you “earned” that advantageous position.
Based on this new grading information that was released yesterday, I will be adding back some planned assignments that I “removed”, and have clear detailed information for each class by Monday, April 27th. I already know basically what I’m going to do, but I want to wait until after a leadership meeting today with the YLHS staff before I say anything final.
As you have hopefully read earlier this week, the PYLUSD school board and administration have modified high school teacher grading and high school teacher scheduling for the rest of the 2019-2020 school year. You can read the official announcement HERE. Below are some “questions and answers” about how this affects our classes. If you want to take a deep dive, the California Department Of Education’s FAQ about grading during COVID-19 can be found HERE.
Q: WHAT HAS CHANGED WITH REGARDS TO GRADING? A: It is my understanding that all students who had “A to D-” grades as of March 13th 2020 (the last regular day of school) now have a “Passing” grade for the semester. Also, work started after that date may NOT lower a student’s grade. So, if you were “Passing” on March 13th, you must pass for the semester. Students that had an “F” grade as of March 13th will be given an “Incomplete” for the semester if the grade is not raised, and have the opportunity to bring that grade up by the end of the semester and beyond.
Q: WHAT ABOUT FUTURE ASSIGNMENTS FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR? A: In my opinion and for my classes, since any grade I would assign to current and future work has no effect on your grade, there is no point in assigning or grading new work. Work that I cannot grade, and work that does not affect your grade, constitutes “busy work” in my opinion. So I will no longer assign new “required” work for students in any of my classes from today until the end of the school year.
Q: WHAT ABOUT ASSIGNMENTS WE ARE WORKING ON NOW? I will continue to provide help, assistance, and lessons for those “willing and interested” students who wish to finish assignments we have started. In particular, I will do the “roof” demo and other demos for the Animation Projects students to continue to create/build their 3D house. However, this assignment has no effect on your grade, so you are not required to complete it.
Q: WHAT ABOUT QUIZZES AND SEMESTER FINALS? A: Since all but one student had a “D-” or higher grade as of March 13th, I honestly don’t see the point in having a second semester final exam in any of the classes that doesn’t count.
Q: WHAT ABOUT AP COMP SCI EXAM PREPARATION? A: I will 100% support AP Comp Sci. students who are taking the AP Exam. However, I will not be officially “grading and recording” the practice work they do for the exam. Instead I will go over work practice work as a group and assist students in correcting mistakes, fixing code, and preparing for the shortened exam. Students still taking the AP exam will get as much of my attention and help as they want.
Q: WHAT ABOUT MOBILE GAME UNITY CERTIFICATION? A: I will 100% support Unity Certification for the 10-20 Mobile Game students who wish to complete certification. This will not change. Certification is optional, and as stated above, does not affect the student’s grade.
Q: WHAT ABOUT PREVIOUS ASSIGNMENTS THAT HAVE BEEN COMPLETED AND NOT YET GRADED? A: I will be grading the few remaining assignments (AP Comp Sci Picture Lab, Mobile Game Create With Code Unit 5, Mobile Game Personal Project Game, Animation Assignment 12) that were started before March 13th, since students who completed the work deserve to know how they did. However, only “Create With Code Unit 5” can count for the course grade (in Mobile Game Development) since almost all of the work on that assignment was completed on or before March 13th.
Q: WILL ZOOM LESSONS CONTINUE? CAN WE STILL EMAIL YOU? A: Absolutely! I plan to continue with AP Exam prep, Unity Certification, and the Animation Projects “House” assignment. However, for all three classes, these will be the final “assignments” that I give. Any work beyond that will be optional, based on student desire to continue learning, and as stated above, does not affect your grade. I can provide additional work/help for interested students in each class, and I will evaluate any such work so you know how you did. Email me please with those requests.
Q: WHAT ABOUT TEACHER COMMENTS ON REPORT CARDS: A: As far as I know, teachers continue to be allowed to make both “positive” and “negative” comments on report cards with regard to citizenship and effort. I will fill those in as I normally would based on where the student was as of March 13th, 2020.
Q: WHAT ASSIGNMENTS ARE WE NO LONGER DOING? A: In Animation Projects, the final “movie project”, and the semester final. In AP Comp Sci, the Robotics lab (or a replacement coding lab) and the semester final. In Mobile Game Development, Unity Certification for all students (now optional), a final game project, and the semester final.
Q: HOW DO YOU REALLY FEEL ABOUT THIS MR. ELIOT? A: The district was in a very difficult position, during an unprecedented global epidemic health crisis, so I understand why they made the decision they made, and I support the thoughtful administrators that made this choice. I am however, very disappointed that the normal grading system has been abandoned, that grades cannot “drop” in any way, and that “real/important/accountable” teaching and learning can no longer take place. I feel this basically removed an important motivating factor from the student learning equation. I am also disappointed that hard working students who earned an “A” grade in a class, now have the same grade as a student who earned a “D-” grade in class. I don’t think I will be comfortable with this aspect of this unique situation for a long time to come 🙂
If you have any additional questions, please email me, Stay well, stay happy, stay safe, Sincerely, Mr. Eliot
Hello AP Comp Sci students. Two important things about 4th quarter that starts TODAY, Monday, April 13th.
FIRST: There will be three main activities during 4th quarter: (1) The monthlong review period as we get ready for the AP Exam at 1pm PST on Friday, May 15th. This will include quizzes, and assignments that will be graded. Whether you are taking the AP exam or not, these will be required. (2) Your Semester Final Exam, which will remain multiple choice, though it might be shorter than 100 questions. We’ll deal with that after the AP exam. (3) A final lab activity, also after the AP Exam, perhaps one of the official AP labs. ** Due to our inability to be at YLHS, there will NOT be a Finch robot lab this year, sorry…
SECOND: You need to get ready NOW to use the AP Classroom website often: (1) Make sure you have Zoom installed on a Windows or Mac laptop with solid Internet. You can’t use your phone or tablet for this. Laptop or Desktop computer with a webcam is strongly recommended. (2) Make sure you can log into the AP Classroom Website (https://myap.collegeboard.org/). (3) Install the AP LockDown Browser (https://apclassroom.collegeboard.org/lockdown). We will be using it in class for AP Exam preparation, quizzes, and you might even need it for the AP Exam itself!
AP Comp Sci students. Before we left school (suddenly) on Friday March 13th, in class, we took a 10 question multiple choice practice test. While this test doesn’t count for or against your class grade, I wanted to grade it regardless, so you could see how you did. A couple of comments about this practice quiz:
(1) Check your score on Aeries. Aeries will show how many points you received, out of “zero possible”. I did that so the quiz had no effect on your grade, but you could still see your score.
(2) Here, in my opinion, is how you should look at your score: 10-9, excellent job. 8-7, you did well. 6-5, you did OK. 4 or below, you have room for improvement. On the actual AP Comp Sci exam, getting about 50% correct is considered a “passing” score.
(3) While the AP Exam for this year no longer has multiple choice questions, this quiz IS an indicator of where you were (regarding general Java knowledge) just before we left school. So it is interesting and useful, but not critical information.
Hello Mustang students. Many thanks to all of you that have attended Zoom meetings, sent me email or Remind messages, and have continued to work hard and learn.
A reminder that I have asked all of you to focus on ONE ASSIGNMENT during the past three weeks as we adapt to “digital online learning”. Those assignments are due Today, Friday April 3rd. I will not assign any new work over Spring Break. The only work you should have over Spring Break would be if you are behind on work that has been due on or before today. If so, this is your opportunity to get caught up, take it!
AP COMP SCI: The Picture Lab is due today. Please make sure you read the last slide of the PowerPoint for what exactly is due in the ZIP file, and how it should be turned in on my website.
MOBILE GAME: You should be finished with your Personal Project Lab today, which you first started working on in December 2019 when you had a Developer Journal entry about it!
ANIMATION PROJECTS: You should finish and turn in your Amazon.com 3D object today that we first started working on about a month ago, on March 5th.
To make sure you had plenty of time to adapt to this new “digital” system of teaching and learning, I will not mark assignments due today as LATE until Friday April 17th. This gives you over one month as a grace period to turn in work assigned (or in progress) after school shut down on Friday March 13th. On Friday April 17th, all work assigned (or in progress) after school closed is LATE, and you will lose 5 percent per day late, as is customary in all of my classes. See the course info packet signed in August 2019.
Finally, on Monday April 13th be READY TO GO, because I will be returning all classes to a more normal schedule of learning, with new assignments, new quizzes, and new due dates that will follow expectations set in the course info packet information from August 2019.
Be safe, be well, and stay home with family, –Mr. Eliot
The College Board is providing FREE AP Computer Science A exam review videos over the coming weeks. These videos go over key concepts in preparation for the AP Exam. At some point, I may suggest certain videos that I would like you to watch. At this point, they are suggested as a great review resource.
(1) Class meeting times and office hour are going to change. Going forward, individual class meetings will be 10:00am (recorded) and office hours will be at 11:30am (not recorded). This is so that my day flows better for grading, etc. Reminder, class meetings are for a particular class, and often include important assignment info for that class. Office hours are informal, where you can ask questions about anything you want.
(2) WHAT YOU SHOULD BE WORKING ON: AP COMP SCI: You should be on or near Activity 5 at this point. The Picture lab will be due next week (April 3rd, the Friday before Spring Break). MOBILE GAME: You should be done with Unit 5, and working on your Personal Project Game. This will be due next week (April 3rd, the Friday before Spring Break). ANIMATION PROJECTS: You should be working on your Amazon.com object in Sketchup. This will be due next week (April 3rd, the Friday before Spring Break).
(3) The district has said that 3rd quarter grades will only include work completed up to Friday, March 13th. Please make sure that any assignments that were due by that date are turned in if you are missing them. I will be catching up on grading this week.
I realized that downloading large videos might take a long time for those of you that don’t have fast Internet connections. So I have decided to use my school YouTube Channel instead. To visit my YouTube Channel for class videos, follow this link:
For all my classes, here’s what I’d like to do with regard to Zoom Meetings/Classes and Helping you with assignments:
(1) CLASS MEETINGS: If I need to meet with a particular class (probably AP Comp Sci most often), I will usually meet with that class at 10:00 am. This will be as needed, and I’ll let that class know in advance via email or Remind message. These meetings will be recorded and released as videos so they can be watched by students who could not attend, or re-watched by those that did.
(2) OFFICE HOURS: “Office Hours”, where I just answer general questions by anybody about anything they want, will be at 11:30 am each day and last until all questions are gone or until one hour has passed. These meetings are “optional” and only if you have questions. Everyone is welcome from all classes. These will usually not be released as videos. If I cannot make Office Hours for some reason, I will send a Remind.
(3) ONE ON ONE ZOOM MEETINGS FOR INDIVIDUAL QUESTIONS: If you have a particular issue you’d like to discuss privately, or you have an extensive question about difficult code, you can schedule a private “One On One” Zoom meeting. Contact me by email, and we can set up a time. You can also just use email to deal with difficult code questions. Send me all important code files, and I’ll have a look at your code.
(4) GENERAL ZOOM INFORMATION: * Get the “Zoom Client for Meetings” from here: https://zoom.us/download. Zoom works on cell phones and tablets, so you can also install the iOS app or Android app. * The Zoom meeting ID and password will be emailed to you or sent via Remind message before the meeting. The Password will be different for each meeting so that the correct students attend the correct meeting 🙂
Below we will discuss the projects I’d like you to work on over the next two weeks while school is closed. Please do your best to continue these assignments and make progress on them while at home. When we eventually get back, we will review how everyone did, take any quizzes we missed, and then continue on to new assignments. You will be turning in these projects, and they will count for your grade at some point, so please take them seriously. If you have any questions, the very best option is to email me (deliot *at* pylusd.org).
AP COMPUTER SCIENCE A: (Remind Code = @8699c3)
Quiz 08 has been, an will continue to be, postponed until we get back, so put the quiz out of your mind for now. However, the AP Exam is less than two months away, so we need to continue making progress and keep your skills improving with Java code. With that in mind, I have two things I would expect you to get done during the next two weeks:
ITEM #1: Get your ICT L21 assignment in by 5:00pm on Monday, March 16th. There is really no reason not to get this in on time, since you were given three extra days to get this done, and you should have been finished on Friday March 13th anyway.
ITEM #2: We are going to work on the official “AP Picture Lab” over the next few weeks. This lab involves you creating Java code that is used to manipulate JPG images. This lab is divided into sections, and the directions are found in a PDF file. Click the link below to download the “Student Files” for this lab, which include all of the Java code you will need, plus a “picture-lab-studentguide.pdf” with directions. The file can be found in the downloads area, or by clicking this link:
There is a PowerPoint introduction to the Picture Lab that can be found by logging into the website and looking at the March 16th to March 22nd schedule. It is called, “PowerPoint, Picture Lab Intro and Activity Directions”. Please read over the PowerPoint and be ready to get started tomorrow (March 17th). On Tuesday, March 17th, I will have Zoom session about this lab for AP Comp Sci students at 11:00am. I will send the Zoom Meeting link via Remind. The lesson will be RECORDED so you can also watch again or later if you cannot make it.
MOBILE GAME DEVELOPMENT AND DESIGN: (Remind Code = @h3aebd)
I would like you to do as many of these things as possible.
ITEM #1: Install GitHub Desktop on your home computer. It can be found here https://desktop.github.com/. Continue to use GitHub as we do in class every day.
ITEM #2: Install Unity 2018.4.13 (22 Nov, 2019) at home. You can start with Unity Hub (latest version) but make sure that your Unity version is only 2018.4.13 (22 Nov, 2019). Do not install the “latest” version of Unity, since it may not work well with the Create With Code Curriculum.
ITEM #3: Finish working on all parts of Unit 5, including Unit 5.1 to 5.4, The Unit 5 Challenge, the Unit 5 quiz, and the Unit 5 lab. (OK) ITEM #4: Get as much dones as possible on your Personal Project / Lab game project.
Please note, that I will be able to track if you have been working on your project based on GitHub commits and pushes. So please do work every day or two Monday through Friday on your Unity project!
ANIMATION PROJECTS: (Remind Code = @2ee92b)
I would like you all to continue working on your Sketchup Object for Assignment 12, and ideally finish this object before we get back. I have emailed your Sketchup “SKP” files, and they should have already been sent to you PYLUSD Gmail address last night. There are two ways you can continue to work on your Sketchup 3D object:
OPTION #1 (OK): Use the online version of Sketchup found at https://app.sketchup.com/app. This will work well for basic things you want to do with your Sketchup project AND you can also convert your project to a different version of Sketchup (see below). Log in to this using your PYLUSD Gmail account only please. The bad thing about this version is that PLUGINS WILL NOT WORK.h
OPTION #2 (BEST): The last totally free desktop version of Sketchup is “Sketchup Make 2017”. It is still available for download for Windows or Mac at this link https://help.sketchup.com/en/downloading-older-versions/ Look for it in the middle of the page. Use this version if at all possible and especially if you have need plugins to make progress with your model.
I would strongly recommend that you put your SKP files on your PYLUSD Google Drive as you are working.
IMPORTANT: Your current SKP files are for Sketchup 2019. It is very likely that they won’t be able to be opened with Sketchup Make 2017. There are two ways you can solve this. First, upload your project to the ONLINE version of Sketchup, select Download, then select Sketchup 2017 (see image below). The second way to deal with this is to ask me to convert your file for you by email. Just say, “Mr. Eliot, I need the 2017 version of my SKP file” and I’ll convert it for you.
If you use Sketchup 2017, here are the important plugins we were using in class. You can get them ALL (and a few more) from me as a ZIP file by clicking HERE: Bezier Tool Fredo6 LibFredo6 RoundCorner by Fredo6 Onion Dome Tool Shapes Tool Soap Skin & Bubble TrueBend CLF Shape Bender