Let’s talk about IEP goals for kindergarten!
Writing IEP goals is one of the most difficult parts of writing IEPs for students of all ages. In my opinion, kindergarten is such an important year for our students in special education. Kindergarten is the year that sets the foundation for a student’s success in school. In my self-contained autism classroom, I typically give my students 5 essential goals for success in kindergarten and beyond.
All of the goals I write are SMART IEP goals. You can read about how to write those here.
Most of my kindergarten students are learning their alphabet, or need to learn their alphabet upon entering my classroom and as a result, one of the IEP goals for kindergarten I typically write for students who have some or no knowledge of their alphabet is:
By (date), when presented in a field of three or flash card style, identify all uppercase and lowercase letters of the alphabet and their sounds with 90% accuracy in 4 out of 5 trials over three sessions as measured by observation and data.
I like to give the option of using flash cards or a field of three for students who struggle with expressive language. Putting the option within the goal, also gives you flexibility on how you assess the student.
Next, an essential math goal I try to get my kindergarten students to achieve before the end of the school year is 1:1 correspondence.
For that reason, one of the IEP goals for kindergarten I use for students who are ready for this concept is:
By (date), when given objects and a visual for a number, demonstrate an understanding of the quantities that numbers to 10 represent by counting out the designated number of objects with 90% accuracy in 4 out of 5 trials over four sessions, as measured by observation, data, and work samples.
I like to use the Simple Math Curriculum to support this IEP goal because it allows me to teach and assess my students who are verbal as well as non-verbal. In addition, the curriculum allows me to teach numbers and number word recognition simultaneously. I love the digital versions of the workbooks for working remotely or in whole group on a smartboard.
Writing is a major goal for kindergarten students to have. In order for students to write, they need to first write their letters. Accordingly, one of the IEP goals for kindergarten I use for students ready to write is:
By (date), when given a visual model, copy the upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet with 90% accuracy in 2 out of 3 trials, over a two-week period as measured by a teacher made test and student work samples.
You may also add an accommodation to this goal such as, “By (date), when given a visual model and moderate teacher support…” This wording will allow you to prompt or model the letter formation for the student as needed.
Daily Living Skills Goal
Next, another foundational skill for kindergarten students to posses is independence. I like to teach independent skills from day one. This is a MAJOR daily living skill that our students need. Therefore, one of the IEP goals for kindergarten I use for all of my students is:
By (date), given a work task presented in 3 steps with a set of visual directions, independently complete the task, with 90% accuracy in 5 out of 5 sessions over a two-week period as measured by observation and data.
I absolutely love teaching this goal and watching my students grow in this area. Some of my most impacted students with autism have been successful with working independently!
In order to teach this skill, I use the 3 drawer workbox system from Simply Special Ed. You can read more about how and why to use this in your classroom here.
Social Skills Goal
The 5th and final IEP goal I give my students with autism is a goal to build their social skills.
Because autism is disorder that can majorly affect social skills and communication, this one is so important to target. For this reason, one of the IEP goals for kindergarten I give to most of my students is:
By (date), student will display appropriate social skills by playing social games (e.g., simple turn-taking games; hide-and-seek; pretend play; simple board games; matching/memory games), with 80% accuracy in 4 out of 5 trials. As measured by observation and data.
One way I target this goal is to introduce social games at each of my centers for a day of the week or during afternoon centers.
An additional step you can take to encourage and motivate your students to participate in social skills is to use reverse mainstreaming. Reverse mainstreaming is where general education students come in and interact with students in your classroom. Reverse mainstreaming in beneficial for all students involved and I have seen huge growth since implementing it in my room.
Most of the IEP goals for kindergarten I use for my students align with the Common Core standards. These IEP goals can always be modified to what your students need so do not stress too much about what the standard is or says.
If you have any questions on how to modify these goals or if you need help creating goals for your students, please feel free to ask! I have experience writing IEP goals for grades Pre-K – 2nd and am happy to help!