Planning and executing mixed groups is a challenge. I am excited to be joining the Frenzied SLPs for their linky party about helpful products for the school year. To me, the definition of a helpful product is one that solves a problem for SLPs. My product, Articu-lang solves the problem of planning for mixed groups, or groups of students that have both speech AND language IEP goals. Articu-lang has activities for both speech and language. The language activities are designed so that all the responses contain the target sound! The packets contain language activities that are commonly addressed with elementary school and middle school children. So far, I have Articu-lang packets for the prevocalic r and r blends.
Here are my top tips for running mixed groups:
- At the start of each session, make sure each student knows their individual goals for that group session. Write it on the smart or whiteboard, tell them verbally or have them write it down.
- Ensure each articulation student has helpful visuals (such as the one below from my articu-lang r blends packet) readily available during the session.
- Make use of “waiting” time. Waiting for all students to arrive at the group? Spend the time checking a skill or reviewing a concept for the present group members.
- Have an unexpected absence? Quickly evaluate the scope and sequence of the group. For example, if your articulation student is absent, scrap the articulation part of the group!
- Thorough planning is essential. Use differentiated and tiered materials that meet the needs of ALL members of the group. Assign responsibilities that allow your students to practice their individualized skills.
This is how one of my groups is run using articu-lang:
Student A (goal is to practice r blends during oral reading): reads the tr blend loaded paragraph (pictured below from my Articu-lang r blends packet) to the group.
Students B&C (goals are to answer content questions from orally presented materials): these students answer the questions from the tiered task cards pictured below:
Student D (goal is to articulate tr blend words at the word level): also answers questions from the task cards as all responses require a tr blend response.
Check out the articu-lang products in my store!
I hope I have given you some food for thought on running mixed groups!