Family Playlists

Family Playlists® are multilingual, mobile-friendly homework assignments that have students teach what they are learning to a family partner at home—a strategy that strengthens students’ understanding and social-emotional learning (SEL) skills.

A recent study found Family Playlists had a statistically significant impact on students’ New York State math test scores equivalent to four months of additional learning.

Case Study on Family Playlists

Download our Case Study to learn how Family Playlists transformed relationships between students, teachers, and families at a district middle school in New York City.

Engage Students and Families in Hybrid and Distance Learning

As a national nonprofit, we are committed to helping school and district leaders who are mobilizing to implement distance and hybrid learning plans. Family Playlists can help you drive student achievement while also keeping families connected.

Unlike other online initiatives, Family Playlists use families’ phones, so families can fully participate without having a laptop or computer at home. Family Playlists can be delivered in over 100 languages, ensuring seamless two-way communication between families and teachers. Family Playlists are easy to integrate with Google Classroom and Clever.

A Research-based Approach

Family Playlists replicate the most successful elements of the “Teachers Involve Parents in Schoolwork” (TIPS) program from Johns Hopkins University, which resulted in increased family engagement, student achievement, and emotional outcomes.

The innovation leverages the learning by teaching strategy (also known as the protégé effect). Research shows that this evidence-based strategy results in better comprehension and recall. Also, English Language Learners (ELLs) can use their first language when teaching their family partner, a best practice for improving learning.

To learn more about the research, download our Case Study on Family Playlists.

How Family Playlists Work

Family Playlists integrate seamlessly into teachers’ existing curricula, and are available for Grades 3-8 in Math, with exemplar playlists in K-2 Math, K-8 ELA, and 3-8 Science. 

1. Teacher Assigns Family Playlist

Teacher selects a standards-aligned Family Playlist to assign to students at the end of an instructional unit. Teachers can also customize or build their own.

2. Students Complete First Three Steps Independently

Students review, practice, and check their understanding of a classroom concept using a series of interactive digital activities and assessments.

3. Family Partners Engage

Family partners receive a text message in their home language with a link to open a mobile-friendly version of the playlist (no sign-in required).

4. Students Teach Family Partners

Students teach their family partner what they learned by leading a collaborative learning activity. Research has found that this learning by teaching strategy results in better comprehension and recall.

5. Family Partners Provide Feedback

Family partners send feedback to the teacher about the experience, including how confident the child was in explaining the concept. Family partners also send photos of the activity.

6. Teacher Reviews Report

Teacher reviews the report, responds to families as needed (with auto-translation), and determines how to better meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs.

Want to see Family Playlists in action?

Strengthen Learning Relationships

At PowerMyLearning, we believe that students are most successful when supported by a triangle of strong learning relationships between students, teachers, and families. Hear from our partners using Family Playlists.

“This school year, the most valuable experience was the implementation of Family Playlists, which united myself, my kids, and their families by a magic bridge. For the first time, learning truly extended from school to my students’ homes.”

–Ms. Arenas
Sixth Grade Math Teacher

“[Family Playlists] support me as a learner because when I explain the activity to my mom, I get a better understanding.”

Sixth Grade Student in Ms. Arenas’ Class

“Hello Ms. Arenas, I really like Family Playlists. I feel there should be more activities like this for homework. I think these activities are very helpful to see what my son is learning and to see if he understands what he’s learning.”

Jaylen’s Mother

Our teachers love Family Playlists. They shift the homework dynamic from compliance to engagement. Students learn the material better, and our teachers can gain a deeper understanding of each student as a whole child so they can personalize their interactions and improve student outcomes.

Dr. Ellen Flanagan

Principal, South Bronx Preparatory