It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

If the title of this article triggers a certain holiday song in your head, then (1) I apologize, and (2), I just wanted to grab your attention and turn it to IEP development. Yeah!!! Don’t let drafting IEPs be the bane of your existence as a teacher. Let’s walk through the ways that the STAR curriculum can ease your stress during this most wonderful time of the year.

When drafting IEPs, we first need to obtain a reliable baseline measure of the skills the student has in a given goal area. The Student Learning Profile (SLP) is our curriculum-based measurement that is designed to give you the baseline data you need, as well as to provide the developmental scope and sequence that tells you where to go next (i.e., goals for student progress).

The lessons contained in the STAR curriculum are also aligned to the Common Core, so that when we teach the lesson content, we are teaching to the Standards required. With this information, you can use the students’ baseline skills and the scope and sequence to align your IEP goals with the Essential Elements required for education. Click to review the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and the lesson content in the STAR Program.

Now that you have referred back to your SLP to get started identifying goal areas and baseline skills, the next step is to decide how to write your specific goals. When you are teaching STAR lessons, it is not uncommon to forget that each lesson plan includes a measurable objective at the top left of the plan. This can easily be made into an IEP goal by adjusting the instructional period and the number of skills that the team would like the student to demonstrate.

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine how many target skills to include in a goal area for a specified instructional period. Consider a student with goals to expand their receptive recognition of labels. Do we say 1 new label per week, or 5+? The student’s rate of acquisition may be a helpful piece of data to help us determine a reasonable goal. In the Blackline masters, STAR provides a discrete trial (DT) Summary Sheet that is designed to keep a record of the new skills the student has mastered, as well as the time it takes to master a new skill or target.

To use the summary sheet, indicate the date you introduced the new skill, and the date the student met mastery requirement for that skill. If you are implementing DT every day with fidelity, then this summary sheet will provide information about how fast the student acquires new skills. Use this information to help determine reasonable goals for students.

Remember, the summary sheet is only as good as the fidelity with which you implement the program! Happy IEP writing J

If your student is working on their matching skills click the image below for a FREE matching activity from Themes First! Fall Fling.