Students who are eligible to receive special education services must have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place. This is a legal document that outlines the student's functioning level, special education services, accommodations, goals and objectives. An IEP contains measurable goals based on the student's present levels of performance toward progress in the general curriculum. Kindergarten IEP goals can address academic readiness as well as other areas where the student has weakness.
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Emergent literacy skills are key to a child's reading development, and one important reading readiness skill is phonemic awareness. A child with phonemic awareness recognises that words are broken down into smaller units or sounds (phonemes). Phonemic awareness is the ability to isolate, blend and manipulate those phonemes. A student who has difficulty with pre-reading skills may have an IEP goal such as, "Johnny will increase his reading readiness skills in the area of phonemic awareness by 80 per cent, as measured by teacher observation and recording, by the end of the school year."
There are a number of skills that a child must be proficient at in order to set the stage for success with number sense and math skills. Such skills include being able to count by rote, number identification, identifying patterns, sorting objects and one-to-one correspondence. Weaknesses in specific areas would be noted in the IEP as short-term objectives under a math goal. A math goal for a kindergarten student with a weakness in math readiness skills would be, "Johnny will increase skills in the area of math readiness and number sense by 80 per cent, as measured by work samples, by the end of the school year."
Fine Motor Skills
Strong fine motor skills are important for a kindergarten student across the curriculum. Kindergarten classes provide the opportunity to strengthen these skills through colouring, cutting and pasting activities, crafts and tracing. A student with fine motor weaknesses would have a goal such as, "Johnny will increase his fine motor skills and ability to manipulate and grasp objects 80 per cent of the time, as measured by teacher observation and recording, by the end of the school year."
Some kindergarten students with special needs may exhibit difficulty with on-task behaviour as the result of a condition such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Early intervention can help the student learn more productive behaviour and should be addressed in the IEP. An example of a goal for on-task behaviour is, "Johnny will remain on-task and follow the teacher's directions 80 per cent of the time, as measured by teacher observation and recording, by the end of the school year."
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