Figuring out the perfect IEP goals for young children can be both challenging and difficult. I often tell parents that preschool, along with parent input, is the foundation of learning. At the preschool level, educators have to provide a safe and fun learning environment and teach students to love school. I am a firm believer in play-based learning with a mix of structure and routine to set the students up to be lifelong learners. Here are 5 of my favorite preschool IEP goals that I believe set my students up for success and to get them ready for kindergarten.
Most of my students have never been to school before. My classroom is usually the first to introduce school wide and classroom routines. I typically write the following goal focusing on our morning routine then add on when necessary:
By (IEP end date), given visual and verbal cues, (student) will follow all steps of the morning routine (wash hands, put book bag in cubby and start morning work) with 100% accuracy as measured by teacher observation and teacher made checklist.
In my preschool special education classroom, we have a daily read aloud time. I often make picture cards or I make a slide show to aid in the discussion the pictures and characters in the story. The following goal is one I use often for my preschool special education students:
By (IEP end date), given visual and verbal cues, (student) will identify curriculum vocabulary with 80% accuracy or better as measured by teacher observation and/or teacher made informal assessment.
For my math goal, I start with number identification and one to one correspondence. By the end of preschool, I want my students to be able to identify numbers and count from 1-20 (setting high expectations for our students, right?). Simply Special Ed has an engaging adapted book that targets one to one correspondence. (check it out here).
The following goal is one I use for my preschool special education students:
By (IEP end date), given objects in a ten frame up to 20, (student) will count the number of objects to answer “how many?” with 80% accuracy or better in 4 out of 5 attempts, as measured by teacher observation and/or teacher made informal assessment.
Before pencil to paper writing skills begin, I start with fine motor activities such as playing with playdough and using clothes pens. (Be sure to check out Taylor’s blog post on how to utilize Playdough here.)
From experience, I’ve observed that young students are also very interested in using all forms of writing utensils such as crayons, dry erase markers and jumbo pencils. I would love for most of my students to be able to trace their names before leaving my classroom and heading to kindergarten. The following goal is my “go to” for handwriting at the preschool level:
By (IEP end date), given a visual model, (student) will trace their name using correct letter formation with 100% accuracy in 4 out of 5 attempts, as measured by teacher observation.
My 5th favorite goal to give preschool students focuses on identifying emotions. Social skills are so important for preschool students because these skills help form positive relationships. My district has provided a curriculum that emphasizes the development of functional social skills for young children.
By (IEP end date), given visual cues, (student) will identify emotions/feelings and stating why they are feeling this emotion when asked “how are you feeling?” by an adult with 100% accuracy as measured by teacher observation and/or a teacher made informal assessment.
Of course, all students are different and have different needs. I use these basic IEP goals as a guide when brainstorming to write the perfect IEP. I hope these preschool IEP goals have been helpful to you.
For more preschool IEP goal ideas, check out this resource.
Let me know your “go to” preschool IEP goals in the comments. 🙂