Kindergarten IEP Goals and Objectives

So, there’s a reason why I am now just doing this post after the blog is more than 10 years old. I am philosophically opposed to this list. It doesn’t make sense to make a list of kindergarten IEP goals. No, really, stay with me here.

Remember, IEPs are needs-driven. They are not age or grade-driven. What skill one child can do in kindergarten will vary from other children. The IEP goals for a kindergartener should be based upon their identified needs in present levels. And not what grade they are in.

kindergarteners and their teacher doing an activity

But, for some disabilities, skill deficiencies may not have been evident until a child was in a classroom setting. And, kindergarteners are expected to enter school with certain readiness skills. So, let’s do this.

With the caveat: IEP goals are based on a child’s identified needs and baselines in IEP Present Levels, and not on what grade they are in. {repeat until it sticks}

Kindergarten Autism IEP

If your child has already been receiving services as a preschooler, or has autism, then you would continue to use the needs already identified. I have several posts related to that/

I also want to note that many of the skills listed below will overlap domains. For example, completing a matching pictures puzzle is both matching and fine motor. Side Note: We LOVE Melissa and Doug toys. They are perfect for practicing all this stuff.

Kindergarten Transition IEP Goals

Let’s start at the beginning. Many school districts offer full day kindergarten now, which can be a huge change for a small child. While it should be the case (though I certainly acknowledge it is not always so), kindergarten should not be so academics-focused. It’s about learning to raise your hand, get in line, wait in line, and stuff like that. Kindergarten is a time to show off your self-help skills.

kindergarten teacher and student

Many of these can be broken down into fine motor, OT, or other domains. I also want to note that this list of skills (to be turned into goals using the formula below) will vary in importance to parents and IEP teams.

  1. Can use the bathroom independently (may need to be broken down into identifying when they have to go, finding an adult and so on)
  2. Wash and dry hands
  3. Able to dress self (puts on coat, fastens snaps, buttons and zippers)
  4. Can state full name and age
  5. Separates from caregivers without excessive upset
  6. Reciprocal plays
  7. Shares with other children
  8. Waits his/her turn in line
  9. Attends to an adult-directed task for at least X minutes
  10. Recognizes and responds to other people’s feelings
  11. Follow 1 or 2 step commands (Put your books away and get in line for recess)
  12. Stays with an age appropriate activity to completion
  13. Asks for help when needed
  14. Interacts appropriately with adults and peers
  15. Respects the rights, property and feelings of others
  16. Works cooperatively (listens to others, shares and takes turns)
  17. Demonstrates increasing self-control (focus and attention)
  18. Participates in clean-up activities
  19. Takes responsibility for own belongings (lunch, coat, etc.)
  20. Identify relationships in speaking, such as “my friend Jacob’s mom” and “Mrs. Smith, my teacher”

Kindergarten Math IEP Goals

  1. Count from 1 to 10 without skipping numbers
  2. Match a number to a group of five or fewer items (“I see three cats”)
  3. Recognize and name basic shapes (square, circle, triangle, rectangle)
  4. Understand more than and less than
  5. Sequencing skills for 2-3 objects (like from smallest to biggest)
  6. Name or point to the colors in a box of eight crayons
  7. recognize patterns
  8. basic concepts of time

Kindergarten Writing Goals for an IEP

This list also includes IEP goals for reading for kindergarten and some kindergarten academics.

  1. Matching Skills
  2. Talks in sentences 
  3. Follows one- and two-step oral directions
  4. Uses sentences that include two or more ideas
  5. Uses descriptive language (adjectives without knowing they are adjectives-big, little, funny, sad, yummy)
  6. Knows by heart and recites some common nursery rhymes and songs
  7. Pretends, creates and makes up songs or stories
  8. Can tells stories about everyday experiences
  9. Asks questions and expresses curiosity
  10. Expresses ideas so that others can understand
  11. Tries to write, scribble or draw
  12. Asks you to write words or notes to others
  13. Attempts to write own name and recognizes own name in print
  14. Looks at books or pictures on their own
  15. Pretends to read books by reading the pictures
  16. Tries to read in everyday situations (signs, labels, etc.) 
  17. Recognizes rhyming words
  18. Recognizes some common words in print (such as Dolch sight words)
  19. Recognizes many uppercase and lowercase letters
  20. Describes characters’ actions and feelings in a story

Kindergarten Gross Motor IEP Goals

  1. Run
  2. Swing, pumping legs to accelerate
  3. Jump with feet together
  4. Hop on one foot
  5. Climb stairs, 1 foot at time
  6. Bounce a playground ball and catch it
  7. Catch a playground ball when thrown or rolled toward them
  8. Somersault

Kindergarten Fine Motor IEP Goals

I have another whole list of fine motor IEP goals on this site.

  1. hold a pencil/crayon
  2. pick up small objects using a pincer grip
  3. use safety scissors
  4. simple puzzles, wooden board/block puzzles

Measurable IEP Goals for Kindergarten

Of course, with anything on an IEP, it has to be quantified and measurable. Use this flow chart. Simply insert the skill and other details, using the data from present levels as your baselines. And voila! Measurable!

IEP goal formula for special education

Hope this helps. But I’m going to say it one more time: IEP goals are based on needs, not age or grade.


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