Struggling to make mixed speech and language groups work? Cheat sheets can help!
We aren't thrilled about having mixed speech groups. We are forced to schedule based on availability. Although we would love to have cute little articulation only groups…it rarely happens. Planning for and executing mixed groups can feel like a circus sometimes…I get it…I have been there too (way too many times!). I will share with you one strategy that has worked best for me…CHEAT SHEETS!
Why use cheat sheets with mixed speech groups?
It allows you to easily plan ahead probes and tasks for the various goals you hope and plan to address during that speech session. You can easily have it on hand to refer to. It will hold yourself accountable. It doesn't need to be fancy…it can be sticky notes or just a piece of paper folded.
But what activity allows for a cheat sheet with mixed groups?
The trick for mixed groups is to plan ONE activity for the group and tackle all goals with it. It will help with keeping all students engaged and less planning for you. I like to plan one game, one craft, one book, or one video (I will explain this one more in a bit).
Using Cheat Sheets with Books with Mixed Speech Groups
Books are perfect for tackling a ton of speech goals. So many storybooks has WH- questions, sequencing, predicting, inferencing, and articulation sounds build right into the story. You just need to create a quick reference for yourself so you can make sure you cover the goals you need throughout the book.
You can even store the cheat sheet in the book itself to use again and again each year!
I love using wordless picture books too. They allow for so many goals to be addressed! CLICK HERE to read more about how I use cheat sheets with books. I also have companion packs for tons of popular storybooks that will make executing mixed groups easier. CLICK HERE to check it out.
Using Cheat Sheets with You Tube Videos with Mixed Groups
I love using wordless mini movies found on You Tube in my speech room. Students are motivated by the technology and I love how easy it is to prep and that it allows me to target a TON of goals! I can use one video all day long no matter what the goal. I can also make a quick cheat sheet to make sure I target all goals of that group.
Here is a closer look of my cheat sheet!
Want to learn more about my favorite You Tube videos to use in speech, especially with mixed groups!? CLICK HERE to read a blog post on it.
Using Cheat Sheets with Any Activity with Mixed Groups
Sometimes we want to focus heavily on our language goals for our students but we have that articulation student snuck into that group. It happens. I get it. Why not use that articulation student as a language model? They know how to do the task so let they model it while practicing their sounds?! Give them synonyms that have their sound in it, let them answer WH- questions with their sound, or even have them express sequences of events with their sound in it! You can make cheat sheets to help you accomplish this task.
Don't want to make them yourself? I did it for you! I created cheat sheets for initial, medial, and final positions of words. I provided prompts for a variety of language goals so you can incorporate those articulation students in the language activities. You can pair this with any game or activity!
CLICK HERE to check these out for yourself!
As you can see…cheat sheets can help you make mixed groups work for you. It doesn't have to be too stressful or require a ton of crazy prep. Grab a piece of paper, your favorite storybook/game/You Tube video and done!