How to write continuing goals...

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by sunbeachgirl, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Hi everyone,

    I need some advice about writing IEPs. I have my first one next week.
    My student has not reached his goals that his teacher made last year. I would like to continue with his goals. I know that I have to rephrase the goals to make sense for this year.
    Do I just write "John Doe will continue to....." and then state the goal?
     
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  3. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    Can you give a better example?

    I write my goals this way:

    When presented with flashcards of the uppercase letters of the alphabet, Jane will identify 20/26 letters during two consecutive trials.

    How are the existing goals worded?
     
  4. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Given a writing assignment, --- will write his ideas and arguments in a sustained, persuasive, and sophisticated way and support them with precise and relevant examples. Once edited, --- will revise his writing to demonstrate an understanding of proper English usage.

    --- will synthesize information from multiple sources and identifies complexities and discrepancies in the information and the different perspectives found in each medium.

    Those are examples of the goals.
     
  5. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Sep 15, 2011

    From your examples I would think the goals would not need to be changed, especially if the student has yet to meet the goals.

    If a student has not met a goal I leave it in; if they're close to meeting the goal I may change the percentage or increase the reading level but the goal remains.
     
  6. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2011

    No you can not just rephrase it with "will continue to...." At least where I am, you can not. You have to look at what the interventions were that were mentioned in the previous IEP and add to them or change them.

    For example:
    OLD GOAL:
    Given a classroom setting with one teacher prompt, Johnny will positively interact with his peers in 4 out of 5 opportunities by 9/18/2011.

    NEW GOAL:
    Given a classroom setting with two teacher prompts and encouragment, Johnny will positively interact with his peers in 4 out of 5 opportunities by 9/17/2012.
     
  7. timsterino

    timsterino Comrade

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I am confused....

    How can you have the same exact goal from one IEP to another? If the student does not meet the goal in a year, the goal should be reworded so it is more realistic for the student to reach.

    How can you change the percentage if the student had not mastered it yet at the percentage you set? You can not go from 80% to 85% for example if the student did not meet the goal at 80%. This is a common error that I see a lot of.
     
  8. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sep 18, 2011

    More often than not it is not the goal that is the problem but the methodology used witht he student to achieve progress. The goal may be reasonable but the instruction or the INTENSITY of the instruction or the teacher/student ratio may be off.

    When progress isn't achieved, many things should be considered. Is there more to the disability than was uncovered in the evaluation? Should you be looking more deeply into the deficit areas? How does the methodology line up with the students strenths and weaknesses? Does the goal need to be broken apart into steps so that the person delivering the instruction understands the various components that need to be addressed first to eventually achieve the goal? Keeping the goal as is or just dropping the percentage doesn't do anything for the student.

    Quick example with reading fluency because there can be several factors that impact this skill. Some kids struggle with decoding in general. Therefore they will be weak in fluency. Some struggle with rapid naming so they can identify the sounds or words given enough time, but the recall is slow and unpredictable. Addressing the fluency must be done differently for each student.

    The first student needs to learn to decode automatically before fluency will improve. The second will also need to work on automaticity, but may not need the lessons for decoding, just the practice. Both may have the same goal, read a reading level passage at a particular number of wpm without loosing comprehension on so many intervals. The approach will be completely different.

    So, if the student has not achieved the goal, just re-writing it or continuing it will not solve the problem.
     
  9. MrShiva

    MrShiva Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I have a question

    If the IEP goals with not achived it is ok to follow again their IEP? or even modifying or reconstructing it by meetings to have a better Goals for cchildren?

    : (sorry for being ignorant)
     
  10. Rosy0114

    Rosy0114 Rookie

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    Sep 18, 2011

    Seems to me like you should identify why it is your student hasn't met these goals. To me, they sound like goals for a student who is very high functioning - if that's the case, why are academic goals even in the IEP? Let's get them out and chart less.

    Is it possible for the student to do these things? I mean possible to learn and accomplish these things in the next 9 months of school?

    The most important question ever - where is the student currently at? Especially in relation to these goals?
     
  11. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Sep 18, 2011

    I think what she is saying makes total sense. I've done this before. Say your goal is for your student to read 85 wpm. When the review meeting comes up, your student is at 75 wpm. You're not going to keep the exact same goal, which would only have the student grow 10 wpm in an entire year- you're going to make the wpm a little higher.

    As for not passing goals, I'm often pressured by other members of the IEP team to make goals that I think are totally unrealistic if not down right ridiculous, especially by our psychologist last year. He was always going on about how we needed to "close the gap" to get the student up to grade level. IMO, if I thought we could totally "close the gap" and get the student up to grade level in just one year, I'd be keeping them in RtI, not qualifying them for a disability and putting them on an IEP. For example, last year we had an initial meeting for a student that had been in RtI/tier 3 reading interventions (which is basically the exact same thing he'll get as a sped student in my district) for an entire year. He was reading about 65 wpm. The rest of the team (other than the slp, who agreed with me but unfortunately didn't have too much say in the reading goals) wanted me to make this student's reading goal 165 wpm to "close the gap." It made no sense to me at the time and still didn't- if I thought the student could be reading fluently above grade level in a year, I wouldn't be putting him on an IEP. When I "officially" wrote the IEP later I did make it 145, but I don't think he'll pass even that- he'd already been getting the interventions and was not making some crazy high amount of growth- putting it on a piece of paper in the IEP is not magic!

    OP, as for the goals you mentioned, I'm a little confused. I'm guessing by their wording that they are for high school students, so it may just be that I have no experience with that age group. However, it seems to me that they're really advanced concepts- what kind of disability does this student have? It also seems that they're very hard to measure- how would you give a concrete example that the student had definitely passed the goal?
     
  12. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Sep 20, 2011

    Hello everyone. Thanks for your input. I am a new teacher so figuring this all out is confusing. I teach at the high school level. NONE of the goals have percentages in them (such as: at 85% accuracy by 9/11). They all look like the goals posted above and then say "as measured by student work samples, teacher observation, etc". Since the district is in compliance, I can only assume that the goals are being written correctly. Do you guys think this could be right?

    The school I am at is in the highest scoring public school district in the state (for standardized tests). These students in my resource class are doing harder work than I did in college. It's insane. In most other school districts these students would not be in resource.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sep 21, 2011

    How are they measurable?
     
  14. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Sep 21, 2011

    Like I said, I'm new so I'm not sure how the dept does it. I assume they get together with the gen ed teachers, parents, and students and look over student work to determine if goals have been met.
     
  15. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sep 21, 2011

    I guess I wasn't clear. Sorry.

    Give us an example goal. That way we can see how the IEP team views it as measurable.

    You can google SMART goals and get an idea of what a good goal is supposed to look like, but if your school doesn't write measurable goals (which do not always need a percentage) they may not like the difference in goals.
     
  16. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    a2z, she wrote some examples of goals earlier ^^^ but I was thinking the same thing you were. How will you have a concrete example that the student has passed a goal? Your opinion of what is "sustained, persuasive, and sophisticated" could be totally different from mine. How will you prove (other than taking the teacher's word for it) that this student has actually met this goal and how will you know specifically what to work towards to get the student to pass it?
     
  17. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Thanks, I missed that when posting. I didn't scroll past the OP's first post. Sorry OP.... My fault completely. Thank you waterfall for pointing it out.
     
  18. sunbeachgirl

    sunbeachgirl Rookie

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    Well...wouldn't it be that way with most goals for high schoolers, especially with regards to ELA goals? The goals are so detailed that I can't imagine how I'd write something that's measurable.
     
  19. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    Sep 22, 2011

    Rubrics would at least provide evidence and data. If the rubric provides various checkpoints such as mechanics/grammar, style and conventions, various types of sentence structure, topic and examples, etc - the necessary components to show that the writing is "sophisticated", you will have a more of a measurement that is defendable and provable. So, instead of teacher observation, you have documentation and a very concise list of items that are required to show progress.

    The other very important part of the goals needs to be independence in this writing. This is difficult to balance in a course where most writings are step by step processes that have teacher/peer intervention. Using a rubric on a writing that had this intervention basically eliminates the writings validity of progress because it is hard to show whose ideas are there, who brought up the level of sentence complexity, etc. So, a student really needs to have an opportunity to create an entire essay independently without any intervention to see the student's progress.

    The other thing to think about is what portions of writing will be done with accommodations and what ones done without. You can't judge a student's progress in the area of mechanics if the word processor is fixing the errors all of the time.

    So, rubrics can be a key to measuring along with an independent writing assignment that is done to show progress because in the end, we are looking for a student that can be given a question and without any intervention can produce a quality essay.
     

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