As you probably know, the 2020 Census is coming up soon. This decennial (there’s a vocabulary word for your word wall!) count impacts federal funds that communities receive for programs and services that are critical for schools, students, and younger children including special education, after-school programs, food assistance, and more. Therefore, it is crucial that EVERYONE is counted, especially children in underrepresented communities.
In order to help spread the word, we are proud to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistics in Schools (SIS) program, which uses data from the Census Bureau to provide standards-aligned classroom activities and resources. Whether you teach math, history, or geography, we encourage you to check out these 2020 Census K-12 Activities.
In addition, we’ve also added a selection of census-related activities to PowerMyLearning Connect that you can use with your students. Simply type “census” into the Search box and start exploring!
Family Playlists are an extension of the conversation that happens in the classroom. When you think about it pedagogically, there is so much research supporting this: if someone can teach something to someone else, that is the highest form of understanding. The premise of Family Playlists is: “I am teaching. I am the expert.” When we are teaching someone else, it is the best kind of learning and that’s where rigor happens.
Family Playlists also offer an important social emotional aspect. It’s not just about the subject matter, it’s about the students getting a new level of confidence. Students have a sense of pride when they complete Family Playlists. Teachers experience this too when they see that they got 100% participation or receive an exceptional piece of feedback from a parent. There’s an internal motivation piece that happens.
Monique Booth Principal of Salem Church Elementary in Chesterfield, VA
My three takeaways for why I truly believe in Family Playlists are:
The power that Family Playlists bring to close the gap between school and home and to make authentic connections between students, teachers, and families.
Family Playlists empower my parents. My parents are able to have conversations with their child around the learning that is happening in the classroom. They feel more equipped to have those conversations because they’re able to see and hear directly from their child the steps, the concepts, and the different processes they are learning.
The major difference I’ve seen in my children is their level of confidence. Before, kids would not be willing to participate in class; they were not engaged with what was happening in the context of the school building. Now, as a result of them having to go home and sit down with their parents and explain, justify, and model the learning that has happened in their classroom, they are empowered. They now have a voice that carries over into their interactions with their teacher and their willingness to share and be involved in classroom discussions.
Jean Dalton Encke Principal of P.S. 279 Captain Manuel Rivera, Jr. in NY
After using Family Playlists, one thing I’ve seen that is different is the stamina in our kids. We had kids skipping lunch and staying late to finish the test. I was almost in tears because I had never seen this before. I was thinking in my head, ‘You should be stopping.’ Prior to this year, kids would give up. Now, we have a bunch of kids who feel like they can push through it.
Alan Baer Assistant Principal, South Bronx Preparatory
Our students, our families, and our teachers love it. PowerMyLearning uses technology to meet parents where they are. PowerMyLearning takes in to account the value of the family structure and honors it; engaging parents in a way that is respectful.
Maybe parents don’t want to see the teacher because they don’t have a proper shirt to wear, or they haven’t been to school in ten years, or they don’t like school, but now they have a platform to learn with their children and have their children show that school is important to them—they have a place to share learning and that is huge.
1. Engage Families in Learning: Teachers across the country report success engaging even their hardest-to-reach families with Family Playlists. Open a meaningful dialogue around learning with all your students’ families using multilingual, mobile-friendly home learning activities.
We’re excited to announce a new feature that makes it super easy to integrate Family Playlists® into your curriculum: Course Companions!
Align Family Playlists to Your Scope and Sequence
Course Companions offer an easy way to view and access Family Playlists aligned to your curriculum and scope and sequence. Instead of searching for Family Playlists individually, simply go to the Course Companion tab, select the appropriate Course Companion for your grade, and then see all of the Certified Family Playlists that align with the specific units and topics in your curriculum. This makes it very easy to choose which Family Playlists you want to use and get started with your families.
Customized for Your Curriculum
PowerMyLearning has already provided all teachers with access to Course Companions for EngageNY/Eureka Math in grades 3-8. We also are happy to work with your school or district if you are interested in additional Course Companions for a specific curriculum or scope and sequence. Please reach out to Bill Rappel at BRappel@PowerMyLearning.org. Alternatively, if you are already using Family Playlists, you can reach out to us using the simple form on the Course Companion tab.
Save Time and Drive Student Achievement
Save valuable planning time and drive family engagement and student achievement in your classroom! Use Course Companions to map out Family Playlist usage throughout the year. Consistent Family Playlists usage can deliver major results in your classroom because we all know effective family engagement is key to student success. For example, a recent study found students who used Family Playlists made statistically significant gains in math equivalent to four additional months of learning.
At PowerMyLearning, we are committed to strengthening the triangle of learning relationships between students, teachers, and families. We hear regularly from teachers that language barriers are a real challenge for successful student-family-teacher relationships—and we know that more than 20% of school-age children speak a language other than English at home.
We are thrilled to announce PowerMyLearning Connect is now available in 100+ languages. This feature will allow teachers to connect with students who are English Language Learners (ELLs) and with non-English speaking families.
Experts say the best way to communicate with parents of ELLs is to use the parent’s preferred language. Research also shows that when ELL parents get to learn alongside their children, it increases student achievement and attendance. But teachers are limited in time and resources to do this effectively—and especially in a way that is linked to student achievement.
That’s why we’re taking PowerMyLearning Connect to the next level with Family Playlists (also available in 100+ languages).
Family Playlists are mobile-friendly, multilingual homework assignments where students teach their family what they are learning in school.
We all know the adage that “you don’t really know something until you can teach it.” Turns out, this strategy is especially powerful for ELLs. According to meta-analyses, when ELL students teach their family using their first language, it increases academic success. Plus, ELL parents benefit too because they get to learn alongside their children.
Here’s how Family Playlists work. When a teacher assigns a Family Playlist, the student’s parent (or family partner) receives a text with a link to the assignment in their language of choice. Then, the student and parent complete a fun activity at home where the student plays the role of the teacher. After completing the activity, the parent sends photos and feedback to the teacher on how well their child understood the concept. Then, the teacher responds to the parent’s feedback and uses the data to better meet the student’s needs.
With embedded translation, Family Playlists strengthen teacher-family relationships by opening a meaningful dialogue about learning that previously wasn’t possible. But that’s not all! Family Playlists also have proven impact around student achievement. According to a recent analysis, students using Family Playlists made statistically significant gains in math proficiency equivalent to four additional months of learning.