A Look at the FPS Curriculum


We are often asked how some coaches get so much time to prepare their students for an academic competition.  Kids are busy these days, especially in the middle and high school years.  They have jobs, their music, and often sports.  We feel that we are spending more energy on competing for time than on preparing for the competition.

 

  1. Full Semester Course:  A full-time course that meets for the equivalent of a semester of 18 weeks.  This timeline allows for the incorporation of many of the extension activities.  Without using those activities, the course may fit into a 12 week session.
  1. Year-Long Integration:  Integrated throughout the year in a classroom or core subject area   
  2. Two-Year Implementation:
    1. Year 1: “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 1-4”
    2. Year 2: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 5-8”
  3. Three-Year Implementation:
    1. Year 1: “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 1-2”
    2. Year 2: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 3-5”
    3. Year 3: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 6-8”
  4. Four-Year Implementation:
    1. Year 1: “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 1-2”
    2. Year 2: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 3-4”
    3. Year 3: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 5-6”
    4. Year 4: Review of “Preparation for Problem Solving” and “Problem Solving Experiences 7-8”
  5. Cross-Curricular Studies:
    1. Language Arts: “Preparation for Problem Solving” and the first five problem  solving experiences, which are based on literature
    2. Science: “Problem Solving Experience 6,” about smart clothes
    3. Social Studies: “Problem Solving Experiences 7/8,” about digital music rights and prejudice


It is not necessary to complete every activity or experience.  If you decide to skip some of them, it is recommended that you review the missed experience to see what new skills or extensions of skills are introduced so that you can include those in your next set of activities.

Competitive Problem Solving:  This course is intended as instructional material.  However, the instruction does parallel skills needed for competition.  Students could move from this curriculum into competitive problem solving at any point if there is an interest in doing so.  Problem Solving Experience 8, the final one, includes information on competitive evaluation and could serve as a strong transition into competitive problem solving.  It is not necessary to complete this entire course before considering a competitive program.  

Check out our website for more information about engaging your students in real life challenges while having fun doing it!