Putting Mixed Group Tips to Work: You Can Do It!

You can manage mixed groups with these tips from Look-Like-Language!
Mixed groups can be challenging until you get the hang of it! You can do it with these tips!  How do you actually put all of these tips for mixed groups to use? Last post, I shared my ideas while highlighting a packet that includes multiple skills. This week I will show you a different approach, along with some ideas for how to modify materials to meet more needs.

If you are new to this series, you can start here.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Have fun activities!
Once you know the kinds of activities that the students in your groups like, you can come up with a multitude of variations that will get you through the year. 

* Game boards are a Must Have Around!

* Spinners are great with game boards, but many (like the pictured one) can be used as stand alone activities.

* Use dice and the game cards. Just write numbers on the backs of the cards and let them roll to find their card.

TIP: Do a bit of planning!
With some creative thinking and a bit of planning, you can incorporate different goals into the fun activity you have planned for the majority of the group. 

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
*Articulation: Use the target sounds in the responses. I believe that placing language demands along with the articulation effort really helps students along the way to carryover! You can make a list of words or let higher level students figure out one on their own.

* Grammar: Tell a sentence using the target to tell about each picture. 

* Ask and Answer Questions: Have the students interact verbally, by asking and answering questions with each other about the situations before their turn ends. Fostering interaction skills is so important!

* Vocabulary: Incorporate one of the words they have already learned into their responses, or add a new word, such as rue!

* Describing- Add # descriptive words in their sentences.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Organize it!
Finding great organizers makes it so much easer to extend the activities and see if your students have really learned the concept. For the pictured organizers, applying the skills to short YouTube clips and books is a great way to do this. They work well for for including more goals, too! 

* Speech/Language: Apply all of the 'Adapt it' goals to use with the organizer. 

* Social Language: Cause-effect is a vital skill for social situations! Can your students predict what will happen as an effect or consequence of their words and actions?

* Social Language: Thinking of multiple causes and multiple effects in social situations is a great way to expand perspective taking and thinking more flexibly!

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Adapt materials to add another goal!

Use the templates to add more goals to the sets.

* Students draw or write their own card sets as an activity after teaching to consolidate skills. 

* Students make their own card sets before playing the game to get baseline data.

* Send the templates home for students to fill in for homework. To get started, fill in part of the organizer together in school so there is one completed example. This also lets you write quick notes on the worksheet to explain anything your student found confusing.

* Take away the pictures and words after you have completed the activities to see if students can use the visual to help them organize their own thoughts independently.

Mixed Groups! You can do it! Looks-Like-Language
TIP: Find materials with multiple levels in one goal area.

While this is perfect for starting one student at the lowest skill level and building abilities to a higher level, it also allows students at different levels in this skill to interact with each other. 

Letting one student explain something to another student, like playing teacher, can be a great way to consolidate skills for the one student while letting the other student hear the perspective that made it click for his peer.

Having a variety of materials in one set makes your job easier, too. One student can sequence 2 pictures to play the game, another can work on sentences, while others read the passage silently while waiting and tell the answer when it is their turn.

Working with mixed groups is quite possible. I hope my tips help! If you'd like to try out my Explaining Cause-Effect Activities packet and put these tips to quick use, get it here! Enjoy!
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