IEPs are established to ensure students consistently work toward and meet educational goals, while receiving their right to a free and appropriate public education.
In this blog, we’ll discuss 7 tips that will help you embed your students’ IEP goals across your day.
Create a written plan and schedule that outlines which IEP goals should be targeted, and when. Pair goals with activities in which it will be easy to embed them. From there, you can share a copy of the written plan and schedule with other staff members and therapists who are part of the student’s IEP team to ensure you are all on the same page.
Share students’ IEP goals, schedules for implementation, and ways to implement the goals with all paraprofessionals in the classroom. Ensure all paraprofessionals who are supporting your students have the tools and resources they need to implement student IEP goals successfully. For example, necessary training, materials, data collection sheets, and more should all be discussed and provided to your paraprofessional(s).
Prepare and organize your materials ahead of time. After you create a written plan, begin to gather the necessary resources you will need to implement the activities effectively. Having your resources prepped, easily accessible, and ready to go when the time is right will help keep you, the paraprofessional(s) who support your students, and your students on track.
When appropriate for your students’ developmental level, involve them. When possible, teach your students where necessary materials are in your classroom and how they can use them. For example, if one of the IEP goals of a student in elementary or middle school is to read a certain number of sight words by the end of the year, or to learn a certain number of new vocabulary words per month for an academic domain, make them flashcards and provide them with access to the flashcards. Likewise, if one of the IEP goals of a transition student is to organize their work using a filing system, always have them turn their work into the same place in the classroom and keep the filing system nearby. This increases student independence and gives them a sense of ownership over their own learning.
Plan your classroom activities with IEP goals in mind. Determine what activities you can conduct that will allow you to target goals directly and effectively for the largest number of students. Then consider what activities you can implement that will target multiple goals for individual students.
Create data sheets for collecting data on IEP goals and keep them readily available in the classroom. Before you get started, ensure you have created data sheets to track progress on your students. Keep the data sheets handy so that you can record data in real time.
Consider how to make the most of common daily tasks. Embedding IEP goals doesn’t mean that you have to create hundreds of brand-new activities. It simply means that you should make the most of the activities you are already implementing – that is, think about the activities that you and your students must do on a daily basis (e.g., arrival and dismissal routines, transitioning between locations, etc.) and determine how you can effectively and efficiently embed an IEP goal or two into those activities.
Meaningful instruction can occur almost anywhere, almost anytime, and during almost any activity. As educators, we just need to be intentional about how we embed IEP goals during the day to ensure our students receive the education they are entitled to, and that they deserve.