Writing and developing annual goals at this level is oftentimes one of the most difficult parts of creating an IEP. In Special Education, goals can cover a range of areas. These can include developmental, functional, academic, behavioral, or social emotional, depending on individual students and their needs. It can certainly get overwhelming!
Focus on the Transition to Adulthood
We all know that every year of a child’s schooling is important. However, once they reach high school, they are closing in on one season of life (childhood) and racing towards another (adulthood). For this reason, once a student in special education reaches high school, we need to start focusing on what their transition from high school to adulthood is going to look like. We need to start encouraging them to prepare for adulthood by creating IEP goals that can make this transition go as smoothly as possible.
We need to ensure that our students’ IEP goals will help them succeed in high school years as they transition to adulthood. What does this transition mean for our students?
For some students, the next move will be college. For other students it could be a vocational school or a full-time job. For those students with more severe disabilities, it may include staying home, a day program or, in some cases, moving into a group-home. Regardless of which path they go, we need to ensure that each student has IEP goals that will help them in their future endeavors.
In a previous post, Michelle talked about SMART IEP goals, which you can read about here. Following those same guidelines, I’m going to share with you 5 IEP goals for high school students. Each academic subject will have 2 examples – one for inclusion and/or resource classes, and another for self-contained classrooms.
Also, if you’re a self-contained teacher, don’t forget to add your benchmarks. If you struggle, think of them as mini target areas that act as steps leading up to your ultimate goal.
Check out some of my suggested goals here: Math Goals
Resource and/or Inclusion: By (date) (student name) will independently solve multistep (more than 3 step) equations and inequalities with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 trials as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Self-contained: By (date) (student name) will use manipulatives to demonstrate an increased understanding of the concept of single-digit addition up to 10 on 3 out of 5 trials as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Many students in special education struggle with math and may need to have goals written in their IEP to help them. Reading Goals
Resource and/or Inclusion: By (date) (student name) will identify the main idea of a passage and provide at least three details related to it when given a skill-appropriate passage, with 90% accuracy in 3 out of 4 trials as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Self-contained (this one is a functional goal): By (date) (student name) will independently identify and locate key information on charts and maps of the community on 3 out of 4 trials as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Many students receive special education services to assist with reading comprehension. Writing Goals
Resource and/or Inclusion: By (date), when given a graphic organizer and editing checklist, (student name) will compose a 5 paragraph essay containing an introductory paragraph, 3 body paragraphs, and a concluding paragraph earning an average of 80% on 2 out of 3 writing rubrics as documented by teacher observation and grading history.
Self-contained: By (date), (student name) will increase number of words written/posted/arranged in a sentence to 5 words on 3 out of 5 occasions. as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Writing is a common area for students to have an IEP goal. Daily Living Skills Goal
By (date), (student name) will demonstrate good hygiene practice in the kitchen by refraining from touching face and body (i.e. lick fingers and pick nose) while cooking in the classroom with 100% accuracy as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Cooking is a daily living skill that sometimes requires an IEP goal to improve functional skills. Behavior Goal
By (date), when given a list of preferred strategies, (student name) will demonstrate self-regulation skills when feeling frustrated within the classroom, on 3 out of 4 opportunities, as measured by data tracking and teacher observation.
Fidget toys can be incorporated into IEP goals when targeting inappropriate behaviors.
Whether you’re a resource, inclusion, or self-contained teacher, the most important thing to remember is to make sure that goals are educationally relevant. Also remember that every child is unique, and therefore, each goal should be unique to that student. Don’t be a cookie cutter teacher who gives each child the exact same goals without putting any thought into individual needs.
For more IEP goal ideas check out this resource.
If you’re having difficulty coming up with IEP goals or benchmarks comment below I’ll do my best to help you.
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