IEPs: 15 things every new teacher should know

Hey there Edumagicians,


Today on the show I am joined with Brandie Rosen, you may know her from IEPs Untangled, where she provides online courses, content, and coaching to help teachers become superstars! Brandie is a servant leader with over 30 years of experience in special education, she shares some of her tried and true tips and tricks for helping you work with students with IEPs in the classroom. Take a listen to her tips.


IEP Basics
  1. A legally binding document (created by federal law), IEP stands for Individualized Education Plan. The plan is specific to the learner. It is an agreement between the school and the family regarding how they will support the student in the classroom through specially designed instruction.

  2. It is developed with the IEP team.

  3. IEPS should be individually tailored to each student - no two should be identical.

  4. A good IEP connects the dots - one part needs to lead into the other - it shows a picture of the student and their needs. Meaning we look at the student's present levels of performance (PLP) where are they right now in their learning ( academic, social, behavioral, emotional). Another dot to connect is what do we want the student to do in about a year's time based on their PLP? The next dot is the services and placement of the student.

Tips for student teachers regarding Individual Education Plans

  • Reading an IEP (like an actual IEP!) Get your hands on one and read it and review it.

  • Try writing an IEP if you are a student-teacher

  • If you're a student-teacher, check out an IEP meeting to see what it's all about!

  • One key area to look for in the IEP is the accommodations and modifications section - list the different accommodations and modifications that will be needed in your lesson planning.

  • Build relationships with all students in your class

IEP Goal Basics
  1. Your goal needs to be understandable, so no matter who is looking at it, they can see what you are asking. Anyone can read the goal they know what it is!

  2. Rainbow method - find it here

  3. Date it needs to be met by (usually a year)

  4. Where is the goal going to be met?

  5. Skills worked on - needs to be specific and observable

  6. Accuracy

  7. Consistency

Data doesn't have to be hard, it can be delightful!
  1. Organize student data in a student folder

  2. Plan one or two data collection days each month - make a note of it!

  3. Data collection methods depend on the setting and goals of the IEP

  4. IEP goals and data sheets can be easily printed out and tracked. Write the goals on one side. Are the goals met? not met? That is why it is important to write clear IEP goals.

Connect with Brandie