Let’s “Mix Up” What We Say To Our Students When We Teach!

For some of our students questions, directions, and tasks have to be presented precisely and in exactly the same way each time in order for them to respond correctly:

Teacher: “Point to the dog.”

Student: (Points to the dog.)

Teacher: “Touch the dog.”

Student: (No response or incorrect response)

Teacher: “What is your name?”

Student: “Jimmy”

Teacher: “Who are you?”

Student: (No response or incorrect response)

Let’s not wait and hope for generalization to happen…..let’s be PROACTIVE and PLAN for generalization to occur! Baer (1999) suggests teaching loosely and includes the following tips:

  • Utilize two or more instructors
  • Teach in a variety of settings
  • Vary your tone of voice
  • Vary the times of day when teaching sessions occur

Consider hanging posters to remind staff to vary their language when teaching. Create your own or print out the ones provided here to get started! “Mix it up” and promote fluent responding when presented with tasks in a variety of ways! MixItUp


Baer, D.M. (1999). How to plan for generalization (2nd ed.). Austin, TX: Pro-Ed.

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