Tips for Effective Goal Tracking

Let's talk about one of the behind the scenes duties of a special education teacher...GOAL TRACKING!
Tracking academic goals is one thing, but how on earth do you track those social and independent functioning goals?! Observational notes get lost in the stacks on my desk and quite frankly take too long to write. Checklists aren't detailed enough to show the behaviors being observed in full. Obviously as an educator with a million things on my mind, there is no way that I can just remember the details of a behavior when I finally get to my computer to document it. I have tweaked my system so many times but finally feel like I have a good handle on it this year.
social skills independent functioning
I started this year working through some rubrics that my mentor teacher passed along to me. With these in mind, I put together my own rubrics that better fit my kiddos. I love that I can pull social and independent functioning goals right off the rubric when writing IEPs. Having this rubric readily available really helps speed up the IEP goal writing process and keeps me on track to writing MEASURABLE and MEANINGFUL goals. The rubric continues to grow as not all of my students have the same needs in my classroom. Therefore, I write a goal specific to them and make sure to throw it on the rubric for future use.

The next step is setting up the data collection binder. I copy and paste the goals from the main rubrics and create data collection sheets for each student. I duplicate the set of goals 3 times on a page then print 2 copies so each page is double sided. This gives me 6 sets of the same goals per sheet of paper which allows me to complete 6 trials of data collection. When writing IEPs I usually use 4 out of 5 trials as my scoring method so this works perfectly. I then compile all of the data collecting sheets in a binder and we are set to go!
3 independent functioning tabbed folder folder
So how do I collect the data and track these goals? This is the easy part! We (myself and my assistants) are able to grab the binder during center play or when completing independent skills (like zipping coats) to quickly collect data. We simply read the goal the child is working on and circle the level he or she receives within that goal. For example, if it took Johnny 2 prompts to throw his trash in the trash can, I would circle the level 2 for the 'Follows one step directions' goal which states "Uses 1-2 prompts to complete task". The rubric is simple, easy to use, and efficient! 

Lynn Wilke


About The Author

My name is Lynn Wilke. I live in Aviston, IL with my husband, Adam, and daughter, Aris. I am a self contained early childhood teacher at Highland Primary School. I have worked in a blended preschool setting previously but love the small group instruction that my self contained class offers. My kiddos are each unique in their own way and receive individualized attention daily. We use ABA to work through academic readiness, language building, fine motor, and many other skills throughout the day. I can't wait to share some of my classroom with you through this blog!


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