It’s as easy as answering questions
It’s like a strategy. I use questions to guide my writing, so why shouldn’t I use questions to guide IEP development. So I have included some questions that can be used to guide the design of an IEP when writing annual IEP goals, present level of performance, and short term objectives/benchmarks.
Measurable annual goals:
- What do you want the student to know or be able to do in 12 months as a result of this IEP?
- Is this information measurable / observable? What will you observe?
(The annual goal – “Increase study skills for academic success” is not measurable. However, the statement “The student will demonstrate the following study skills: skimming written material and the use of reference materials in the social studies class” is measurable and observable.)
- Does the goal have meaning for the parents? For other IEP members who will be working with this student? Be sure to define key vocabulary and limit use of jargon.
Present Level of Educational Performance:
- What do you want the student to know or be able to do in 12 months, and why can’t he /she do it now? In other words, how does the disability affect the student’s progress?
- What can he / she do now? What is the actual starting point for each area of need? What are the current skills / knowledge?
- If, in 9 weeks, you have to describe the student’s progress in this area of need, what kind of information will you be able to provide?
Short term objectives and benchmarks
- Are the objectives / benchmarks clear, observable steps that will advance the student from the “Present Level of Educational Performance” to the “Measurable annual goals”?
- Is each objective measurable?
- Is each objective / benchmark a major milestone or other obvious marker along the path from “Present Level of Educational Performance” to the “Measurable annual goals”?
My strategy for writing IEP goals, present level of performance and when needed, short term objectives and benchmarks relies on answering these questions….I have even turned the questions into a checklist to help me stay on track.