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Creating SMARTER IEP Goals

August 22, 2018Kelly Ott

Creating IEP Goals: 3 Tips to Get Started

We want your school year to begin on the right foot!  As each IEP is annually reviewed, begin to develop S.M.A.R.T.E.R goals for your students.  Tips on updating specific features are available throughout the webinar series in your membership portal.

Tip 1:  Start by examining student strengths. Communicate with students and families to learn about their interests, strengths, learning styles, motivations and dreams. The S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps Student Strength Inventory is a great tool to help educators get to know their students.   Students can use the checklist provided or add their own individual strengths and interests.

Tip 2:  Next, explore challenges the student faces in the classroom, during unstructured times of the day, and while doing homework or studying. Get  parent, teacher, & student input on content  that is most problematic. Review the child’s accommodations and modifications to gain insights as to strategies that may be beneficial. Also, review testing to see baseline skill levels as well as student progress to analyze current levels of functioning. This can help you determine what to work on next.

Tip 3: Prioritize areas of need based on the information you have gathered from teachers, parents, and students. The Prioritization Worksheet helps teams identify the most salient challenges that should be focused on for the current IEP cycle. Students benefit from having a structured, prioritization discussion and documentation of the areas of need.

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps is a consulting business developed for special education staff and parents of children with special needs ages birth to 21. This organization is designed to assist special education teams on how they can achieve federal and state compliance while empowering self-advocacy skills throughout development and implementation of Individual Education Programs (IEP's).  We are focused on simplifying the process and procedures so that you can spend more time where it matters most—with your students!

S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps provides consulting, live and recorded tutorials, professional education and parent resources, and information for each step of the IEP process. These educational resources reveal for parents and professionals how easily they can achieve compliance while creating quality personalized learning programs. When teams work collaboratively toward building comprehensive educational plans, the student outcomes are much more successful.

Kelly Ott, MEd, MHS, CCC-SLP  and Lara Wakefield, PhD, CCC-SLP
S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Steps resources and support services on TPT and at



“How to Save Time and Develop Legally Compliant IEP Goals” is the overview webinar of the SMARTER Steps system.

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Learn this easy 7-step prompting system to gain a solid foundation on how to develop goals for optimal outcomes for children with IEPs. This webinar is for everyone: parents, advocates, school staff, administrators, college students, and university instructors.  This webinar is 1 hour and 30 minutes in length and was recorded on 5-21-18. This is an example of our SMARTER series recorded webinars available through our membership program.