Sharing the Love! 5 Easy Tips for Mixed Skill Groups
I’ve circled back around to my topic of mixed groups! It is a reality that we deal with every day, with more success on some days than others. If your mixed group isn’t working, try looking at the combination of student personalities and goals that you have in the group. Maybe an unusual combination will work better for you! For more ideas, check this post.
Quick tips can be so helpful! Whether the information is new to you, jogs your memory, so you can now apply something you already knew, or helps you to see something in a different light, your students benefit! I hope that something in my IG tip series resonated with you!
Tips to Work with Mixed Groups
Before you change your schedule around, try using some great books to bring your group together!
The first time I use a book with a group that has a variety of goals, I read through it and place a sticky note on the edge of the page. This reminds me where I can pause to elicit answers from each of the students in the group. As I become more familiar with the book and the various skills I can use it for, I no longer need the sticky notes.
For more ideas, read this post.
Maybe you just need to foster interactions between your students a little more. This helps create a cohesive group. It also helps students with social language needs.
I regularly start my groups by encouraging them to have to have a conversation. First, it give me a few moments to write the attendance and take a quick peek at how they did the previous session. Second, it lets me listen to how they are using their speech/language skills naturally! For more ideas on how to use interactions between the students in a session, check out this post.
When all else fails, have some fun activities that allow for taking turns ready to go at a moment’s notice! It may not make the group gel, but you can work on each child’s skills separately to get through the session if there is an activity in common.
Bubbles, playdoh, and puzzles will save you with a younger crowd. Elementary to middle school level kids will usually play a board game, a card game like UNO, or watch a video clip and talk about it. Need more ideas? Read here.
To really make your life easier, gather materials that can be easily used for mixed groups. Find a theme with a variety of activities for different skills that can be used during a week or month. You can scrounge the internet to pull together your own sets. If you need a little help along the way, check out TpT! I will feature some of my sets that work on multiple skills this month to show you how it can be done.
What makes your mixed groups most difficult for you?