How to use an IEP Goal Bank

iep goal bank ideas

What is an IEP goal bank and how do you use it? Are you looking for ideas on how to align IEP goals to Common Core standards or how to general a measurable ABA therapy goal for your student? Why do we make data-based decisions with our IEP goals and objectives? Read on for some ideas!

What is an IEP goal bank?

We’ve all done it. Sat and stared at a blank computer screen, trying to come up with a good IEP goal or an ABA measurable goal for a student. We know the student, we know the skill we want to work on, but figuring out how to word it to make it meaningful and measurable is hard! I’ve hit that writer’s block many times.

Where can you find IEP goal banks? Just about anywhere. GoogleTeacherspayTeachers, colleagues. Look for something related to the population you are working with, the age and developmental level, the skill or subject level, and so forth. Wherever you find one you like, make sure you have permission to use it and make sure you customize it for your student!

The goal of using an IEP goal bank is to give you a starting platform. It should NOT be used as a copy-and-paste system. Here are 4 steps to using an IEP goal bank.

  1. Have the student in mind including the skill you want to work on.
  2. Look in the goal bank for a skill that is close to the one you think would be appropriate.
  3. Gather baseline data surrounding that skill.
  4. Edit the goal:
    • Reword it to describe the student’s environment and skill set
    • Include accurate baseline data
    • Consider what is attainable for that student within the timeframe of the goal
    • Use a measurement that is understandable to the staff and can be easily tracked and reported on
    • Reread and rework as needed until you can hand it to someone new and they understand what the skill currently is, what the end goal is, and how it will be measured.

For example:

Goal Bank

When given a verbal or environmental cue to “wash hands,” STUDENT will complete entire hand washing routine without assistance improving grooming skills from BASELINE to 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

Customized IEP Goal

By 5/2/23, when given a verbal or environmental cue to “wash hands” and a visual schedule to follow, Jonas will complete entire hand washing routine without assistance within 2 minutes improving grooming skills from 0 to 4 out of 5 consecutive opportunities across three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

When given a question regarding personal information, STUDENT will answer the question improving answering questions from BASELINE to at least 4 pieces of information about self (e.g., name, age, phone, siblings, parents names) in 4 out of 5 opportunities on 3 data collections as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

By 5/2/23, when given a question regarding personal information verbally and with a visual cue, Jonas will answer the question improving answering questions from 3 questions to at least 8 pieces of information about self (e.g., name, age, phone, siblings, parents names, favorites) in 4 out of 5 opportunities on 3 data collections as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

You can find these goals and more in my goal bank bundle here:

Do you struggle with the time-consuming task of writing IEP goals for your Special Education students using Common Core Standards? Or finding the correct wording to create specific, meaningful goals to meet the needs of your early intervention, preschool, or resource students? This resource is perfect for busy teachers looking to save time and simplify the task of writing IEP goals.

Includes a 311-Goal Bank for Preschool, the 168-goal KINDERGARTEN Common Core Standards IEP Goal Bank, and the 184-goal FIRST GRADE Common Core Standards IEP Goal Bank. Additional grades will be added soon, so check back!

Why do we create standards-based IEP goals and objectives?

State and federal standards (such as Common Core) were created by much smarter people than me and help us, as teachers, focus on what students should learn by the end of the year in math, reading, and other academic skills as well as communication.

Creating IEP goals for your students that align with state and federal standards is now an expectation and, in fact, not doing it may be denying your student their right to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Now, of course, if you have a student who has a cognitive disability, you will either need to modify that goal a lot, or you will focus on alternative assessments. So why do we want to use standards-based IEP goal?

  • Helps the team get and stay on the same page
  • Provides a grade-level target to shoot for
  • Ensures that we stay on track to presenting meaningful goals for the ongoing success of the student
  • Helps provide the student with more opportunities to be educated with their peers
  • Helps to assess the student with general education curricula and other assessments

How do you align IEP goals to Common Core or other standards?

When you are aligning goals to standards, whether they be grade-level standards, Common Core standards, or ABA curriculum targets, you’ll want to keep these things in mind:

  • Consider aligning to the standard for the NEXT year (if annual goal). Do not choose a different grade level to align to. If you have a student that is significantly delayed, consider how to modify the goal or consider alternative assessments in lieu of the standard.
  • Consider what the student already knows, gather data, and break down what steps they need to make to meet that standard.
  • Break down the standard into those steps from where the student is to the standard’s end goal.
  • Develop a measurable goal within those steps that can be reasonably attained during that time frame.
  • Consider and include necessary accommodations and modifications for the student to reach that goal
  • As the year closes, look at the GROWTH towards the standard (even if not met), and then REWORK the goal with the NEW STANDARD as the new aim for the next year.

 

⚠️Tying IEP goals to standards does not take away the expectation to be an individualized plan for the student. It merely helps us stay focused on where we want to go “way out there.” Keeps us on the path with the end in mind.

For example:

Common Core Standard

Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1

IEP Goal

When given a grade-level fiction reading passage, STUDENT will answer at least 3 questions about key details in a text improving reading for key ideas and details from BASELINE to 3 questions for each reading passage on three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records.

Orally produce single-syllable words by blending sounds (phonemes), including consonant blends.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.2.B

When given at least three blending sounds (phonemes) (e.g., /c/ /ă/ /t/) and asked, “What word?”, STUDENT will say the word with automaticity improving phonological awareness from BASELINE to 80% of at least 5 opportunities on three consecutive data days as measured by staff observation, daily tasks, and data records. At least 50% of the words must contain consonant blends (e.g., /ng/, /sh/, /th/).

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Hi! I'm Audra!

I am a special education teacher, behavior analyst, and parent to an autistic adult. I love sharing the insights and resources I have gleaned over the past 25 years. Thanks for being here!

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