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Seven Tips for Integrating Mathematical Thinking into Family Engagement Programs

The nonpartisan research organization Mathematica Policy Research recently developed an issue brief documenting the ways in which five family engagement organizations—all Heising-Simons Foundation grantees—developed and tested integrating math into their programs. This promising strategy leverages caregivers’ ability to engage children in playful learning experiences and aims to strengthen children’s early math skills, support later school achievement, and foster positive attitudes towards math.

The brief offers seven practical tips for practitioners and other stakeholders interested in integrating early math into family engagement programs:

  • Tip #1: Build on successful family engagement approaches and ensure buy-in
  • Tip #2: Focus on developmentally appropriate math concepts
  • Tip #3: Tailor early math projects to a caregiver’s language and culture
  • Tip #4: Offer practitioners opportunities for professional development
  • Tip #5: Provide families with early math activities they can use in their everyday lives
  • Tip #6: Help families to overcome their anxiety about math
  • Tip #7: Use data for learning and improvement.

We thank our grantees Abriendo Puertas, California Head Start Association, The YMCA of Silicon Valley, Reach Out and Read, and the Santa Clara County Office of Education for sharing their experiences.

To read the full brief, click on the image below.