6 ways principals can improve family engagement

Key points:

As a school administrator, I thought a lot about family engagement. How could I get more parents and guardians to feel connected and interested in getting involved? How could I get my staff to connect with families? I researched articles and tried different strategies.

Approximately two years ago, I had the opportunity to work with an internal team providing technical assistance to a district as part of a grant through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. One of the focal points of our collaboration focused on creating resources to support and increase family engagement. Our team conducted research and focused on the work of Karen Mapp, PhD, and the Dual Capacity-Building Framework for Family–School Partnerships for this work. This framework made me rethink family engagement.  …Read More

Learning grammar with a joystick and math with a mouse

When his young daughter was learning to read, Michael John, Game Director at the Games, Learning and Assessment (Glass) Lab—and known to friends and colleagues as MJ—met with her teacher, according to Impatient Optimists, the blog of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The teacher explained a concept called “scaffolding,” in which she would push each student a little bit with a new reading challenge, allow her to cement new concepts, and push her again. To John, this was more than familiar – it was exactly what he did for video game players every day as a game designer for Electronic Arts. MJ was astonished to find how easily techniques in the classroom translated to techniques in game design…

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