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Main Concepts Behind Special Education IEP Goals | Teach Tastic

Updated: May 24, 2022

As a teacher, you may have students who require extra assistance in order to be successful in the classroom. If you have a student who has an Individualized Education Program (IEP), it is important that you understand the basics of IEP goals and writing them. This includes understanding what an IEP goal is, how to write a goal, types of goals, examples of good goals and bad goals, and key takeaways for writing your own IEP goal.


One of the most common challenges teachers have with IEP goals is correctly interpreting or writing them. This can be a challenge because there are many factors that go into making a good IEP goal.


In this article, we will discuss the main concepts for IEP goals. We will cover what an IEP goal is, how to write a goal, types of goals, examples of good goals and bad goals, and key takeaways for writing your own IEP goal.


What are annual goals?

Annual goals for IEP students are statements of measurable objectives that are aligned with the content standards in your state. IEP goals are expected to be achieved within the one-year timeframe of the IEP.


Why are annual goals important?

Annual goals are important because they measure a student’s progress and help to determine if the student is making adequate yearly progress (AYP) towards meeting their educational goals.


What should be included in an annual goal?

Annual goals should always be written around a documented need that is preventing a student from progressing in the general education settings or curriculum. This could include academics such as reading and writing as well as social-emotional skills and behaviors. Each goal will include a strategy that the student will master in order to complete the goal.


Annual goals should include the following:

  • The student’s name and grade level

  • A measurable objective

  • The content standard that the objective is aligned with

How do I write a goal?

When writing a goal, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  • The goal should be measurable and observable

  • The goal should be achievable and realistic

  • The goal should be specific and concise

  • The goal should include the student’s name and grade level

How do I know if my goal is good or bad?

There are a few things to look for when determining if your goal is good or bad. Below are a few tips:

  • Bad goals tend to be vague and unmeasurable

  • Good goals are specific, measurable, and achievable

  • Bad goals are often repetitive to what is already being done in the classroom

  • Good goals focus on a specific need that has been identified

  • Bad goals can be easily accomplished without an IEP

  • Good goals are challenging yet achievable

Types of IEP goals

There are three main types of IEP goals: