Grade 11 Computer Science

I will regularly offer extra help in room 230 on Mondays and Thursdays.

Feb 19: A "quest" was announced on Wed/Thurs of last week, for this coming Thursday and Friday. Tuesday/Wednesday will be a review period, and the quest will be a half period, with the remaining time to be spent on our next unit, Problem Solving.

Feb 12: We've had lessons on utility classes and creating objects. Expect an announcement soon about a test for this unit, as well as the assignment for Pre-AP students.

Feb 4: There have been 3 lessons on arrays. Get caught up on your homework! Some students were not thrilled with their mark on the Loops Test, and consistently doing homework is one of my first suggestions for increasing understanding and grades.

Jan 29: The assignment was due this morning. Some submissions are still overdue!
Friday and today we started the unit on arrays. This is the last unit teaching programming concepts, and there'll be a test in mid-February.

Jan 20: On Thursday and Friday, students were given an assignment. This assignment asks students to research a career related to computer science, postsecondary options, and work habits that help people in computer science. There are 2 more work periods, and the assignment will be due on Monday the 29th.

Note: On Feburary 14th, the University of Waterloo is running their annual computer science contest. I suggest that students sign up. I also suggest that students practice, because extra practice will develop their skills. Students who are planning to take computer science again in the future are especially encouraged to get this extra practice and/or write the contest.
To sign up for the contest, fill out the form here.
Read more about computer science contests here.

Jan 11: Loops test announced for Jan 16th/17th. Likely make-up date of Friday the 19th for absent students. Topics include for/while (how to code them, when to use each), fencepost problems, nested loops, solving problems based on a given algorithm, tracing programs (including how many times a for loop will run). The test will be on paper only.

Dec 22: This week we had 2 lessons on nested loops. We did problems with tables of rows and columns. There are two problems to be solved by the first class back in January: Mario Pyramid (upward staircase of symbols), and nth Prime.
After the break, there'll be info on Waterloo's computer science contest.

Dec 14: Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, I handed back the Ifs and Booleans test.
We've now taught while loops and for loops, had some time to try them in Processing, and assigned a reasonable amount of homework that only a tiny percentage of students actually bothered with. Today and tomorrow the topic is fencepost problems. Related: This page helps explain some of the math that can lead to off-by-one errors when writing loops.

Dec 7: Yesterday and today, we started the next unit: Loops. We wrote a program to determine how long you'd need to invest your money in order to reach a goal. There will be no more assessments before the winter break. Hopefully I can return the tests, the sorting hat assignment, or both!

Nov 24: The if statements unit is nearly over. At the start of this week, students were given the Sorting Hat assignment. The program gets info from the user and a method in the program determines, based on that info, which Hogwarts house the person would be placed into. The assignment can be done in pairs and students can be creative - it doesn't matter if they've read Harry Potter. This assignment is due next Wednesday (Nov 29).
There will be a test for this unit on December 4th and 5th. Review will be next week.

The quiz from last unit was returned Monday-Tuesday of this week. Answers are posted in the back of the classroom and students were encouraged to make corrections.

Nov 14: We've had 4 lessons on if statements in Java and Processing. Today and yesterday, students wrote a quiz (on the previous unit), which will not affect the upcoming report card mark.
The assignment mentioned on Nov 3 has been marked and returned.

Nov 3: A busy week! Students were given an assignment (Mon-Tues) with 2 class periods to work on it, and due Thurs-Fri. Most students submitted their work on time. Some are still overdue!
Today we started the next unit (if statements). We will have a quiz on Nov 13th/14th covering the intro to Java and BlueJ, as well as flowcharting.
The Processing Image assignment marks were returned in a spreadsheet at the beginning of this week.

Oct 27: We learned how to get user input with Scanner, and how to work with Strings (replace, length, substring). I assigned homework from CodingBat. This website has many practice problems and I assigned students to complete 5 of these problems over the weekend.

Oct 19: The last 2 classes I introduced Java, and the BlueJ development software. We talked about creating our own methods, passing parameters, and returning values. The Processing assignment is still not marked. The next assessment will be announced in a few classes.

Oct 13: The past 4 classes we covered Processing, a platform/language that is great for graphics and interactive programs. I gave an assignment (on Tues/Wed) that's due by Sunday evening. Students are asked to hand in both their code and a saved image.
Submit by email, please. The drop-off folder isn't working from

Sept 23: We've finished hardware and number systems and are now working on algorithms and flowcharts. Soon I'll announce a quiz. Programming is coming up, too.

Sept 8: Today's homework file can be downloaded here. You can hand it in with AW or by email. It's due before next class. Please rename the file to include your name. I estimate 45 minutes to complete it.
Hopefully the password reset service will be ready to go on Monday/Tuesday!

/* Computer Science at Northern is taught in Java. In class, we use the BlueJ IDE. It's free! You can get it here. Make sure you get the JDK first, or get the combined install. */

Some of the topics we study:
// Methods
// Decisions
// Loops
// Arrays
// Object-oriented programming
// Ethics in computing

Most of the assessments are either quizzes or programming assignments. There should be a couple of research projects as well.

If you are ahead of the curriculum, please use some of your class time helping students who aren't.