Monday, June 12, 2017

IEP Goals for Students with Significant Needs

Have you ever looked at IEP goals for a particular student and thought "how the heck are they going to achieve this?" or "What was I thinking when I wrote this?"

When it comes to working with students with significant needs these are questions you may find yourself asking over and over. No worries, I do too. Even when it comes to writing IEP goals I see so many things the student needs to work on but it doesn't align with the common core.

Today I am here to share with you some ideas for goals I have written for my students with significant needs. Most of these students are non-verbal, severely cognitive impaired and may have physical and/or behavioral needs.

*Disclaimer- Every district has different expectations for IEP goal and objective writing. Make sure to check with your team before implementing any of these goals.

Reading Goals:
For reading I focus a ton on core vocabulary. Let's face it, our students with significant needs need to work on functional communication. Why not have them read and comprehend functional words? Don't get me wrong, I think students need to be exposed to literature and have access to all types of books but for an actual goal lets make it functional!!!

Here is an example of a core vocabulary "phonics" goal and objectives.
Here is an example of a core vocabulary "comprehension" goal and objectives.
How do these fit into the common core? In Michigan we have Essential Elements and a range of complexity. Here is the Essential Element I chose for this goal. The gray area is the general education standard and then the white areas are broken down into high, medium and low.

Writing Goals:
Ahh!!! Writing, I dread it!! Come on now, how can writing be functional right? Is focusing on sentence structure, revising and editing really something that my students should be working on? Honestly, yes reality it is really difficult when our students should be learning how to hold a pencil correctly and making a signature mark.

I will be honest, for writing I mostly tag onto the OT goals for fine motor. But here is an example of a goal and objectives. (The students first and last name start with L).

CCSS is listed in gray and the essential element is listed in yellow. This particular strand doesn't offer a range of complexity like reading.

Math Goals:
Students can work on so many things during math instruction. A lot of my students continue to practice using core vocabulary during math by working on put on/put in tasks. But here is an example of a very functional goal I wrote. The student needed to practice using the microwave and becoming independent with heating up his food. So I added a color coded system to help support this.
Michigan Essential Element

The big thing with writing goals for our students with significant needs is that we need to think outside of the box. Write goals that are truly going to help them in their future. For example, while learning 2+2 is important how does that really help us in our lives?

What types of goals have you written?

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