MAD Distance Learning Highlights of Our Asynchronous + Synchronous Learning

English 9 Honors & English 10 Honors

I had almost 100% participation from both of my classes of 9th graders. They are in relatively positive spirits and enjoyed connecting with each other over our chat feature. The work that they have submitted after our sessions has been introspective and thoughtful. Overall, I have enjoyed connecting with them. We have even set up a recipe share on Google Classroom after a conversation about what we've been learning in quarantine.

SPAN 2 and SPAN 4

Great work by students in break-out rooms to fill in information synchronously on slides prior to coming back together as a class! Great work-around from being unable to share screens to break-out rooms and then sharing screens when coming back together!

Algebra 1

Our teamed 7th block has been able to meet both weeks. We had 19 out of 23 students successfully log in and participate in the lesson. More than half of our students have also completed the MathSpace we have assigned. All of our class lessons are recorded and available to the students and students have been good about emailing with content questions as well as asking questions during our online class sessions.

AP Government

We had a pretty good session where I went over the activities for the week that students should be doing to help get them ready for the AP Gov exam. We also talked about some government related news and then I gave students a TV show recommendation to help get through the quarantine.


Students had great contributions to our Evidence for Evolution Padlet Digital Gallery Walk

English 12 Honors & English 11 Honors

I was able to successfully meet with 2 of my English 12 Honors classes and 1 of my English 11 Honors class where we were able to discuss the first few chapters of the books we are reading for class (Born A Crime and The Great Gatsby). Student attendance was high and students participated with respectful behavior! :)

Spanish 4

All of my students have been so great. One thing that has worked really well for me is that I have created Google Slides to share with the class. When they go to breakout groups, each group has a slide to work on. Then, when we come back to class we look through each group's work and somebody from each group volunteers to say something about their work. In Spanish 4, during our first class last week, students split up into groups to read an article about coronavirus in Ecuador. Each group read a different page and reacted to it in a table on their designated slide. When we came back to the class, many students were eager to share their thoughts on the article. They really enjoyed learning about how this is affecting another country, and it made us also appreciate how fortunate we are to have a wonderful health care system during this crisis. The Google Slides approach is also nice because I can quickly see who's working and who isn't, and if a group seems to be slow to start I can go to their breakout room to help and make sure they know what to do.

Algebra 1 Part 1

In our second class meeting using the pilot shell, more students showed up than last week and they were so engaged in the lesson! As class progressed students were rushing to be the first to offer the correct answers, they were encouraging their classmates, and you could actually hear the pride in their voices of their accomplishments as we worked through problems together. The students were asking insightful questions and were even requesting more challenging problems!

Spanish 3 & 5

I piloted the new BBCU and it worked well. The kids came to the class without a problem and we were able do all the activities without issues, disruptions or delays. AWESOME!

Human Anatomy and Physiology

1. Discussed the function of the nephron in filtering blood to make urine using a PPT. 2. Showed a teacher created video explaining the lab we would have done in class. 3. Assigned the lab for students to research and diagnose one of 3 urinary system problems

APUSH and World 2

In the 3 sessions I ran yesterday, I only had 3 students absent in total (all 3 sections combined!) and the students were cheerful, grateful to see each other and eager to do the work. In a sense, it is a more effective way to do direct teaching with my 7th period class which is easily distracted - the ability to turn off mics and video during direct instruction is great! Also, several students used both video and audio during the sessions without an issue and we were able to establish some ""virtual classroom"" protocols to keep the chaos to a minimum. Students who could not or did not want to participate with video still demonstrated an ability to contribute with audio or by posting in the chat. This mirrors the experience I had before Blackboard shut down last week - I've been offering some kind of synchronous session at least once a week since the first BBoard Collab. shells were available (March 18/19th?). Thus far I feel I've been successful.

Algebra II Honors

My experience has been flawless. 100% attendance...no drops...no issues. I know others have struggled but I have not... hopefully not a lone voice in the woods....

Gourmet Foods

I showed the distance learning food demonstration video I made with a colleague. During the demo video I used the chat feature to interact with my students to share additional info and they could ask questions while they watched. Link to next week's video:

English 10 Honors

We had a wonderful Socratic Seminar this morning during office hours with students who needed to make up a seminar grade and who wanted to improve their seminar skills. Students who normally don't share or don't expand on their thoughts as easily were much more expressive verbally, provided more examples and evidence, and shared more generally. The students were respectful and mediated the platform well. They "responded" to each other very well and were easily able to identify who was participating in the seminar. The student reflections were thoughtful and positive regarding their learning experience through BBCU.


We did an Earth Day Padlet and Air Pollution Chalk Drawing Flip Grids.

AP Biology

I was able to complete a ppt lecture and answer student questions through chat without issue. Almost my entire class was present. I have included a picture of how I was able to present using ppt edit and split screen to view the chat boxes.

Honors Biology

I used Pear Deck for the first time yesterday during synchronous sessions. Pear deck allows for real-time student engagement and interaction within a Google Slides presentation. Students open a new Chrome tab/window in addition to being on BBCU and log in using JoinPD and a provided code displayed within BBCU. For example, I added interactive slides prompting students at various points to share their thoughts, prior knowledge, and conceptual understanding, allowing for deeper connection with the material. I was able to view students' responses during a synchronous (and asynchronous session) using the Pear Deck Teacher Dashboard. See attached screen shot displaying students' responses in the teacher dashboard where students answered the prompt, ""What is one important thing you learned about last week's lesson or by watching the video on the Rock Pocket Mouse"" During the session, I can anonymously share any students' comments/answers to display for teachable moments. At the end of yesterday's session, I switched the lesson to ""student-paced"" which allows students to continue with the lesson asynchronously and can share the link to the lesson in Google Classroom. All answers are attached to students' FCPS Google accounts and are automatically saved for my review. I took advantage of the free teacher webinars Pear Deck has been offering since the shutdown to learn how to use this great tool!

World History I HN

Before we left school, our "umbrella" topic was trade networks and the civilizations that used them from c. 300 BCE - 1500 CE. This week, students worked in breakout rooms to fill in a collaborative Google doc exploring the importance of trade networks in the Islamic civilization and various civilizations in Africa.

Technology & Learning Center - Tech Interns

Our #TLCTechInterns are troubleshooting on the fly in our Virtual Office! A teacher asked, "In BBCU, how do I share content to breakout rooms?" With some clicking around, they figured it out, and we shared the directions + screenshot with the teacher.

AP World History

The modified AP exam this year is just one DBQ, so we are spending time in our live sessions working on DBQ skills. This week, students worked in groups in breakout rooms to analyze one document in a DBQ, then commented on the doc with how the info in that document could potentially help them answer the prompt (credit to Marissa Petty for the general activity idea)


During the school year, we often play Quizlet Live either to review or learn new vocabulary. It seems like such a small thing, but playing it together during our BBCU synchronous class on April 21st to help learn a new set of vocabulary words made things feel more normal.

AP Economics

We were able to share a clip from NPR's Planet Money as we discussed monetary policy and the impacts it can have on inflation. We also watched a video clip together about hyperinflation in Zimbabwe as part of our discussion.

Economics & Personal Finance

We had a good discussion about how economists view the world using the coronavirus situation as a backdrop for conversation. We talked about how economists calculate the value of human lives saved and then compare that number to the cost of regulations in areas like environment and health. Students had the opportunity to better understand the different perspectives at play in the current conversation regarding how/when/why to open up the economy again.

Latin 3

Last week, my Latin 3 students, who are learning how to read Latin poetry, read part of the Daedalus and Icarus story as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses. Pieter Brueghel the Elder painted "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" in 1558, and I created a thinglink with the image of the painting, some notes for students, and links to two poems written about the painting, one by William Carlos Williams and the other by W.H. Auden. On BBCU in the chat function, I shared the link to the thinglink with the students, along with a See-Think-Wonder Google Form link (I found information about and templates for both on the last slide of Suzanne's Teacher Core Resource Overview on the Deeper Learning Hub Distance Learning page). We had done See-Think-Wonder activities with artwork in person earlier in the year, and the students filled out the Google Form and also made observations in the BBCU chat and using their mics. It was a lot of fun! Thank you, Suzanne, for the great resources!

STEM Advanced Engineering


Even though we're away, we still sing Happy Birthday!

Created By
Suzanne van der Eijk


Created with an image by Rob Laughter - "Snapped this pic while shooting a production at the Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC."