Maria Litvin 

    • This session is offered in Event 2:June 18-21, 2024 Tuesday through Friday: focus for teachers new to the course or with 3 years or less teaching CSA     
    • This session is also offered in Event 3: June 24-27, 2024, Monday through Thursday: intended for teachers with 3 or more years teaching CSA experience.

Meet your APSI Consultant for AP Computer Science A

Maria Litvin taught computer science and mathematics at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, for over thirty years. She has been an Advanced Placement Computer Science exam reader for over two decades and, as a consultant for The College Board, provides AP training for high school computer science teachers. Prior to joining Phillips Academy, Maria taught computer science at Boston University.

Maria co-authored several leading AP Computer Science textbooks, including C++ for You++ and Java Methods: Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures. She is also the co-author of Be Prepared for the AP Computer Science Exam in Java (now in its eighth edition), Coding in Python and Elements of Discrete Mathematics, and Bits and Chips: Computer Science in Questions and Puzzles for Aspiring Coders. Since 2014, as a facilitator, Maria has trained more than three hundred New England elementary school teachers in introducing computer science to children in grades K-5.

APSI Course Description for Computer Science A

This APSI accommodates participants with different levels of familiarity with Java and OOP.  We will study the material of all 10 Units in the Course and Exam Description (CED), including arithmetic, decisions (if statements), iterations (loops), strings, classes and objects, constructors and methods, inheritance and polymorphism, 1D and 2D arrays and ArrayList, searching and sorting, and recursion. I will help you connect with many AP CSA resources, including a pre-packaged curriculum and several online Java practice platforms. I will model the use of these resources, which will make your teaching more successful yet easier to conduct. You will program in Java every day during synchronous Zoom meetings, including in breakout rooms – to help make more of your voices heard, model small-group work, and allow more solutions to emerge. Asynchronous coding will allow you to practice what you learned and then share your solutions with fellow participants. We will discuss Java IDEs, including Eclipse, and I will code in Eclipse and will assist you in learning it. We will also code in, an online IDE. You may use any Java IDE of your choice. You will receive an eBook Java Methods: Object-Oriented Programming and Data Structures, 3rd AP Edition, by Maria Litvin & Gary Litvin, Skylight Publishing, and we will use this book in class.

We will practice with formative and summative assessments, using the College Board’s AP Classroom as main resource, and will use AP Classroom’ data analytics, that allows students to monitor their own learning and for teachers to monitor performance of their entire class and that of individual students. We will do a mock grading of at least two free-response questions from the past AP exams, and solve sample multiple-choice questions. We will discuss the College Board’s exemplar labs, and do at least one of them.
Important part of the course will be daily modeling and discussion of pedagogical practices in teaching a CS course, helpful to new and experienced teachers alike. Sharing teaching practices, including unplugged activities, is one of our goals.

We will discuss ideas for increasing diversity of AP CSA population, to bring in more young women and other underrepresented groups to take the course.