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5 Essential Math Word Problems IEP Goals | Teach Tastic

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

For special education teachers, IEP goals and lesson plans seem to be the bane of our existence. We are often asked to write goals that are impossible to measure and lack creativity. However, writing IEP goals doesn't have to be so difficult. In fact, it can be quite simple if you know what you're doing.

When writing IEP goals for math word problems, you should keep a few things in mind. But first I'll start with a story on how I've tackled writing a few goals myself.

This story begins with me hard at work on just an ordinary day in the life of a sped math teacher. Just when I think I've written the perfect activity for one-to-one correspondence for your kindergarten math skill level students and I'm sitting down organizing a box of manipulatives to start my day. I am slightly proud of myself for being prepared and savoring the brief moment of quiet before students arrive.

Alas, the quiet is broken.

In walks a general education teacher looking for support for word problems. My brain has to code shift at a moment's notice and there I go off and running explaining all the different types of word problems and how I have strategies for teaching each kind.

Subtraction word problems?

Double-digit numbers in word problems?

Two-step word problems?

Word problems for multiplication where a student will identify equal groups?

What kind of math word problems are we talking about here?

She laughs and replies, I'd better take a seat...

There is a great deal of comedy in that line of questioning but in actuality, special education teachers really do have to understand all the grade levels and strategies for teaching word problems and all other math state standards for grades kindergarten through twelfth grade. So I'd like to see this particular or any general education teacher pull that out of their hat.

As the conversation progressed, we got down to two issues her students were struggling with

  1. They are not independently reading the word problem with complete comprehension of the academic (math) vocabulary.

  2. they are not extracting correct information and forming a problem in the correct order.

No matter what type of word problem, thes