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Sara Jozwik & Alice Cahill Illinois State University

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1 Sara Jozwik & Alice Cahill Illinois State University
Alignment Check: How can IEP goals be written to celebrate the common core standards? Sara Jozwik & Alice Cahill Illinois State University

2 Targets for Today View Needs Assessment Results
Examine goals written to students’ areas of identified need Craft goals to align to the common core Ensure goals are sensitive to Ells' language acquisition needs

3 IEP Goal Writing Needs Assessment
The needs assessment asked special education team members to express feelings that come to mind when thinking about writing IEP goal statements. The percentage of responses (n=24) in each category are displayed in this graph.

4 Training Needs Training Topics Ranked in Order of Most Frequently Selected: Aligning goal statements to the common core standards for students with high incidence disabilities. Writing data-driven PLAAFP statements Aligning goal statements to the common core standards for students with low incidence disabilities. Figuring out how to set up data collection tools to capture the kinds of data I want to collect. Deciding on IEP goals that align to the student’s areas of need (e.g. self management goals for students with ED, attention goals for students with OHI).

5 Training Needs, Continued
Using the SMART goal format to write goals. Choosing how to collect data on the student’s goals. Writing goals that are sensitive to ELLs’ language acquisition needs. Figuring out how to word the goal statement so anyone who reads it will be able to monitor progress in a way that I intended.

6 Current concerns about IEP goals
Special education team members identified the following concerns, in order of most frequently selected: current goals are too vague, too general, and skills are not measurable, goals are not aligned to content standards and do not show utility for implementing meaningful instruction goals are not written to reflect a push-in model of support goals lack individualization and are all alike.

7 How many students’ goals have we re-written this year?
This slide reflects the percentage of 24 responses that appeared in each category.

8 Other concerns related to IEP goals
The main theme identified was need for support with the process of aligning goals to the common core state standards. Most responses reflected anxiety with how to individualize goals to meet the explicit needs of the learner, especially when the needs are below grade level expectations, with specific common core standards. Many of us wonder what the implications will be on instruction, data collection, and co-teaching.

9 PLAAFP Present levels of academic achievement and functional performance statements should… Provide information that specifically relates to the goals and objects and should allow for direct comparison of progress through the year. Measurable PLAAFPs permit the IEP team to fulfill progress monitoring requirements and provide FAPE. Hint: While crafting measurable statements, check the student strengths section of the IEP to be sure meaningful, data-driven statements appear. The PLAAFP is a data-based narrative that acts as the engine of the IEP. It should include a description of the students’ academic and functional performance. Academic strengths and weaknesses should be included. To celebrate the art and science of crafting a data based narrative, seek information from the following sources: Homework, class assignments, curriculum based measures, classroom observations, input from other IEP team members, checklists, and other formal or informal assessments. Functional strengths and weaknesses include the following domains: social, emotional, behavioral, independent functioning, study skills, speech and language communication, motor skills. Gather this information from the following souces: disciplinary records, behavioral logs, anecdotal records, attendance records, input from other team members, observation protocols. For both the AA and FP sections, obtain parent input; have students self-evaluate.

10 Example PLAAFP reading
Chris has a reading comprehension deficit; here is his PLAAFP Chris is a strong decoder, and can read most any grade level text with 97% accuracy. Chris does stumble over multi-syllabic words and will make visual substitutions (e.g., carnival for carnivore). In small groups. Where Chris feels comfortable, he will volunteer to read aloud often. Chris does not understand material that he has read or that has been read aloud to him. Text must be simplified, read in chunks, and visual mapping strategies must be used for simple comprehension. Chris has difficulty with inferential comprehension. Strategies that have been shown to increase his comprehension include making connections to his life, accessing his background knowledge, coding the text, and using graphic organizers. Chris lacks the skills to use these strategies independently. NWEA MAP: Spring 196 (12th percentile), Fall 200 (8th percentile) ISAT Reading: Below standards Easy CBM passage comprehension: 5th grade passage 65% accuracy, 6th grade passage 50% (goal is 80%) Sample PLAAFP taken from “Writing Meaningful IEPs” Presentation by Leisa Carlberg and Laurie Guilfoyle

11 Example PLAAFP writing
Suzy has been working on written expression; here is her PLAAFP With verbal prompting at each step, and using a graphic organizer, Suzy can follow a writing process to compose a five paragraph expository, narrative, or persuasive essay. Each paragraph has a topic sentence, relates to the theme of the piece, and is supported by three detail sentences. Suzy rarely uses transition words. Her use of beginning capitalization and ending marks is consistent, but no other forms of punctuation are used. With prompting Suzy will vary word choice, but generally her vocabulary is consistent with a third grade level of writing. Sentences rarely contain more than one idea or detail. Spelling is mainly phonetic. Over the last three samples, twenty-five percent of non-sight words were spelled incorrectly. NWEA Language: Spring 2012 at 16th percentile, Fall 2012 at 11th percentile Aimsweb total written words: Suzy averages 29 written words in 3 minutes (target is 43) and shows a steady rate of improvement. Sample taken from Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP. (2006). Writing Effective and Legally-Defensible IEPs: Core Requirements. What teachers need to know about the most essential elements in the Individualized Education Plan.

12 SMART Goals Specific Measureable Attainable Realistic Timely
Example: By May 2014, Jon will write a focused five sentence paragraph that includes a topic sentence, supporting details and a conclusion in 6 of 8 opportunities. This sample connects to CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly Once written, examine the goal and see whether it promotes principles of self-determination. Remember: Measureable means observable, countable, repeatable. These terms are observable: point to, circle, spell orally, list in writing, read orally, walk, count blocks, eat, compute problems accurately, write complete sentences. These terms are not observable: understand, know, grasp the meaning of, remember, realize, comprehend, be familiar with, participate in. Exercise caution around the following terms: increase, decrease, improve –when used on their own they are too vague to be measurable. If using these terms, set a baseline and a target. Tips on measurability are courtesy of Amber Jordan and Tina Butterbrodt’s presentation entitled “Writing Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) for Success (2012).

13 Challenges with goal writing
Measurability Individualization Wording Data collection Decision making (assessments)

14 Measurability Problems Solution
A goal is written to increase skills in a specific area as measured by a percentage accuracy, but a baseline percentage is omitted from the PLAAFP. Goals fail to provide a measureable standard. Terms like “with minimal prompting” and “with some support” are NOT measureable. Be sure to include a baseline percentage if you are using percentage accuracy. Are you always using 80% percent accuracy as a target? Is this realistic? Reasonable? Justifiable? Include criteria; ensure the skill is being measured in a meaningful way. A good source for more information: Capizzi, A. (2008). From assessment to annual goal: Engaging in a decision making process in writing measurable IEPs. Teaching Exceptional Children, 41(1),

15 Individualization Problem Solution
All the students on my caseload have the same goal. It is hard to write goals that are centered around the students needs, for example, when inattention is interfering with academics. Amend or accept…Do all the students on your caseload have the same needs and the same present levels of performance? Once you have pinned down the areas of need, remember to be clear, be specific, and be measurable with stating realistic expectations for where the student will be one year from now.

16 Wording Problem Solution
When goals are written in inexact terms, such as, “to increase participation” the team cannot make an objective analysis of whether the student is making progress toward the goal. To ensure that any staff member knows how to implement the goal from the face of it, check your wording. Does it pass the stranger test? Have you checked the format? Is it SMART? “If there’s no meaning in it, that saves a world of trouble, you know, as we needn’t try to find any” –King of Hearts, Lewis Carroll

17 Data Collection Challenges
Problem Solution The goal is not being addressed during my direct service minutes. The curriculum only addresses the objective for one week instead of all quarter. The goal is not measurable. The data I am collecting is not meaningful. Does the goal need to be amended to better suit the students’ needs? How can the schedule be adjusted to make direct service minutes “count”? Collaborate; get input from other implementers. Is the curriculum being implemented with fidelity, with great enough depth? What will the outcome be if you spend more time with instruction tailored to the students’ need? What will the outcome be if you don’t?

18 Assessment Problem Solution
The only information I have is the classroom teachers’ qualitative input and test scores from MAP . I am not sure what assessments we use diagnostically, to monitor progress, or to measure achievement. Collaborate with the social worker (who is skilled at doing on-task/off-task observations) Collaborate with the school psychologist who will know which measures are used (KTEA, WISC) Collaborate with reading specialists, math specialists, and the ELL/Bilingual team to gather information about authentic assessment approaches, Fountas and Pinnell, DIBELS, Aimsweb, early numeracy screeners.

19 Alignment Common core key points:
Although CCS replace ILS the foundational pieces remain consistent –students will be given opportunities for instruction in general education curriculum aligned to standards and students’ individualized needs will be considered when designing and implementing instructional activities. How does this happen? Prioritize skills for each student.

20 Steps toward IEP Goal Alignment
1. Use the student’s present level statement to inform the process of crafting the IEP goal. 2. Choose the grade level standard. 3. “Unpack” the grade level standard (Or, reference someone else’s version, e.g., the Ohio Extended Standards) to analyze the sub-skills of the strand. 4. Prioritize student needs to develop the Goal. 5.Write the goal in consideration of the student’s rate of learning. 6. Read and evaluate the goal to be sure all terms are measureable. Two helpful links/resources: Courtade, G. & Browder, D.M. (2011). Aligning IEPs to the common core state standards for students with moderate and severe disabilities. Attainment Company, Inc.: Verona, WI. English language arts and mathematics extended standards. Ohio Extended Standards. These are parked on public domain. Retrieved January 11, 2013 from

21 Example Goal Statements
You can take it to the bank… In their study of high and low quality goal statements, Pretti-Frontczak and Bricker (2000) found similarities between goals from both categories. For example, they both had antecedents, behavior, criteria. Differences in quality were attributed to how the goals were selected. Christle and Yell (2010) cited the following substantive error in IEP goal writing: failure to individualize a student’s IEP goal by using a stock computer generated IEP goal bank without changing them to meet the student’s unique needs.

22 Goal for student with OHI
A student’s inattention is impacting academic achievement: The ILS Social Emotional Standards can be still be referenced, or… Consider the CCS, for example: 1C.2b. Monitor progress on achieving a short-term personal goal.

23 Goal for student with ED
Self management goals can reflect the IL Social Emotional Standards or can incorporate some CCS elements. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.4 Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1a Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., listening to others and taking turns speaking about the topics and texts under discussion). 2C.2b. Analyze ways to work effectively in groups. 1A.2b. Describe and demonstrate ways to express emotions in a socially acceptable manner.

24 Goal for student with LD
If a 4th grade student’s needs have been prioritized and a focus on place value is identified, then… Math CCS Math 4NBT5. Use place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic. Multiply a whole number of up to four digits by a one-digit whole number, and multiply 2 two-digit numbers, using strategies based on place value and the properties of operations. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models. Example: By December 2013, Student will make progress toward understanding the place value system by recognizing the value of a digit, comparing and ordering numbers, and explaining the patterns within a base ten number system and computing to solve problems using numbers (0 through 1,000,000) in order achieve 75% accuracy on 6 independent practice trials (quizzes, curriculum based assessments) per quarter.

25 SLPs.. Consider these ELA standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1c Ask questions to check understanding of information presented, stay on topic, and link their comments to the remarks of others. CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

26 Stuck? To gain more sample ideas, visit our WIKI

27 Data Tools and Techniques
Kinds of data we usually collect for behavior: frequency, latency, duration Kinds of data we usually collect for academics: percentage accuracy, words read aloud correctly, correct written word sequences Approaches to data collection Task analysis Dichotomous rating (mark with a plus or minus; one or zero each time the target is or is not observed) Online progress monitoring Aimsweb Easy CBM Rubrics and rating scales comprehension rubrics for each skill can measure comprehension performance Other rubrics can be created or may already exist to measure writing skills Apps Super duper data tracker Class dojo Places to go to get more information:

28 Crafting goals for ELLs
Points to consider… Legally, when writing the IEP, we are required to “consider the language needs of the ELL.” What does this really mean? IEPs should reflect language and cultural needs of ELLs Include input (collaborate) from knowledgeable team members Decide on services, instructional strategies based on peer-reviewed research Use authentic assessment approaches to ensure the team has sufficient information to craft a goal statement Research exists to support the capacities of students, even with significant disabilities, to not only be able to learn two languages (to the best of their abilities) but also to experience well known benefits of bilingualism. Collaborate with ELL teachers and Bilingual teachers to be sure that the student’s language needs are being addressed. Ortiz (1989) recommends, as a beginning point, providing instruction in a language the child understands and to include IEP goals that facilitate the acquisition of English languae skills.

29 In Conclusion… Champ out your goals by… Collaborating and asking for
Help to Align goals to standards so we can Measure our students’ Progress and celebrate their successes! It’s time to celebrate your efforts to align your goal statements to the common core standards.

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