Tips to Setting Student Learning Goals in Special Education

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Evaluation & Assessment

When creating student learning goals for students with disabilities there are a few things that you need to do. First, you need to assess their current levels to find out their level of functioning. Next, you need to decide what areas you focus on to create goals that are appropriate based on the students’ needs. You also need to continuously monitor their progress as well. Let’s take a look at how you go about assessing their current levels of functioning.

The best way to assess where the student is functioning is to find some grade level tests. The areas that need to be of concern should be: reading fluency, reading comprehension, math fluency, math problem solving, and writing. You need to determine what grade level the student is functioning at for all of these basic areas.

Creating Goals

Once the level has been determined, you need to decide what areas you would like to focus on as you are creating goals. Maybe the student really needs to work on their reading skills, so you make that your main focus. You need to start with their biggest area of need. You also do not want to create too many goals for the students because that can be overwhelming.

Goal Examples

Let’s say that a student has been assessed and is functioning at the 4th grade level for reading fluency and you need to create a goal. Here is an example of a learning goal that can be used for that student: When given a one-minute assessment of reading fluency, at the 5th grade level, student will be able to read 95 words correct per minute with at least 95% accuracy on weekly assessments.

Here is an example for a math goal based on state standards: Given problems sets of 20, Student will perform practical math calculations in the areas of numbers, number systems, number relationships, computation, estimation, measurement, mathematical reasoning, mathematical problem solving, statistics, data analysis, probability and predications, algebra functions, geometry, trigonometry, and concepts of calculus with at least so many correct.

Things to Remember

The main thing to remember is to make the goals manageable to meet. Do not create goals for students that you know they will not be able to achieve. The students will feel better knowing that they have met their goals, and will be even more excited to try to meet new goals.

As you can see creating student learning goals for students with disabilities is fairly easily to do once you know several components. Remember to keep in mind that the IEP can always be reconvened if you need to add more goals, or need to make adjustments to current ones. If you find that a goal isn’t quite right, reconvene the IEP and change it.