5 Grouping Tips for SLPs! Back to School

Scheduling can be a nightmare! If you missed the first part in this series, go here.

Who wants mac and cheese?

Last post I shared with you my ideas on how to organize for making groups, but I didn't really give any details about what you can do when you have a pretty disparate caseload. I think of this like having dinner with your kids when they are little and picky eaters. I don't want to eat the boxed macaroni and cheese that is their favorite right now, but they certainly can't have the slice of quiche and glass of wine that I want, either. So what is really important? That we sit down together, enjoy each other's company and not be hungry when we are done.  (So, the dinner I pictured never happened when my kids were little- a girl could dream!)

Speech/language therapy mismatched groups can accomplish the goal as long as you are able to find some tie to pull it all together! One way to do this is to take a look at that goal sheet you organized and think about what you need to say or do to elicit the responses for that goal. Then, look at the other goals on your list. Do any of your students need to learn to do just that? Voila, a group! You model, then prompt, and hopefully in not too long you will have a group the interacts with each other while accomplishing their goals!

Don't worry- they won't put you out of your job!

As lovely as this idea sounds, it doesn't always work. So here's another tip. 

Try thinking about HOW you plan to get the goal accomplished. What strengths can be used or what strategies can be taught to help your students to achieve their goals? Could any of your goals, and thus your students, be grouped together by using the same strategy? Remember, we are just looking for a dining room table to share. What is being served can be tailored to the individuals sitting at the table!

Not every scheduling problem can be fixed. Sometimes you just have to try your best and persevere, but I hope that this gave you some ideas that you can use!

What has been your worst grouping nightmare? How did you deal with it? I wonder...

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