I really like the idea that at the end of the semester the kids have written something that is theirs, i.e. usually some sort of game. In Art and English classes portfolios are the common trend in high school. I think programming courses have to start in that direction, even at the high school level. The quality of the IDEs and the abilities of the students are now such that kids can write something that is fairly unique and, in some cases, actually marketable. It is amazing how much more effort kids will put into their own project as oppose to working on textbook projects.