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NO Lazy Goals!

Can I share something that really gets me fired up?

Lazy IEP goals and objectives.


Let me explain. An IEP is written for one IEP year. One IEP year is a very valuable amount of time for a child with special needs, and leaves no time for waste! Part of the IEP are the Instructional Plan Pages. These pages outline each of the student’s need areas and identifies a main goal and several objectives to help the student meet the goal.


Here is a simplified example of a well written goal and examples of both well written and lazy objectives:


WELL WRITTEN GOAL:


Given manipulatives, the student will add and subtract within 20 with 85%

accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the IEP year.


This is a well written goal because it is SMART: Specific (tells exactly what the student will be able to do); Measurable (can be measured objectively); Attainable (can happen within one IEP year with proper support); Relevant (to the student and his/her needs); and Timebound (has an end date). The goal is specific to the content area, yet broad enough that it can be broken down into smaller objectives. Let’s take a look:


WELL WRITTEN OBJECTIVES:


Objective 1: Given manipulatives, the student will add without regrouping

within 20 with 85% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the IEP year.


Objective 2: Given manipulatives, the student will add with regrouping within

20 with 85% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the IEP year.


Objective 3: Given manipulatives, the student will subtract without regrouping

within 20 with 85% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the IEP year.


Objective 4: Given manipulatives, the student will subtract with regrouping

within 20 with 85% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the IEP year.


These are well written objectives because they are SMART. They encompass an entire year’s worth of learning. They also break down the goal into smaller chunks that can be monitored throughout the IEP year. Even if the student does not master the goal, we still have data to show exactly what the student can and cannot do. Having data on each element of the goal will inform our decision making throughout the IEP year and when it is time to write the next IEP.


LAZY OBJECTIVES:


Objective 1: Given manipulatives, the student will add and subtract within

20 with 55% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the first grading period.


Objective 2: Given manipulatives, the student will add and subtract within

20 with 65% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the second grading period.


Objective 3: Given manipulatives, the student will add and subtract within

20 with 75% accuracy on 4 of 5 trials by the end of the third grading period.


These objectives are lazy! Although they are SMART individually, they are not SMART together. These objectives are a copy and paste job that does not provide specific data on the sub-skills of the goal. At the end of the IEP year, the IEP team will not have specific data about what skills the student can and cannot do.


WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD HAS LAZY GOALS & OBJECTIVES


If your child’s IEP includes lazy IEP goals and objectives, don’t panic! Email the teacher to request an IEP meeting as soon as possible. You can point out that you would like objectives that work together to build up to the goal. You can think of the goal as the destination and the objectives as the stepping stones to get to the goal.


If all of this is just too much, and you’d like a helping hand, remember, I am your friendly neighborhood advocate!



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