Inside: Our list of kindergarten IEP goals including kindergarten math IEP goals, kindergarten reading and writing goals and more.

So, there’s a reason why I am now just doing this post after the blog is more than 13 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.

kindergarten students working on iep goals
Kindergarteners are often still working on letter recognition.

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.

Save The Post IEP Parent Form

📧 Save this for later? 📧

We can instantly send this to your inbox. Or, send to a friend.

And not what grade they are in.

But, for some disabilities, skill deficiencies may not have been evident until a child was in a classroom setting.

But, I understand that some Kindergarten goals must be based on common core standards.

A young boy plays with a toy car on a play mat in kindergarten.

Kindergarten IEP Goals and Objectives

And, kindergarteners are expected to enter school with certain readiness skills. So, let’s do this.

Teachers and Staff
Note: Many School District Email inboxes block email from outside entities. If you do not receive this within a few minutes, check spam or try again with a personal email address. 
Featured Image

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. Yes, common core IEP goals make sense. But nowhere in IDEA does it say that these are the only goals in an IEP.

A classroom decorated with a tree and stuffed animals, perfect for kindergarten students.

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.

Example IEP Goals for Autism Kindergarten

Again, IEP goals are based on needs, not diagnosis.

Here are five IEP goals tailored for kindergarten students with autism:

  1. Goal: Student will develop social communication skills in structured settings.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will initiate and maintain eye contact during structured social interactions with peers and adults for at least 3 turns, demonstrating improved engagement and reciprocal communication.
  2. Goal: Student will increase independence in following classroom routines and instructions.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will independently follow three-step classroom instructions (e.g., sit at desk, take out pencil, begin task) with verbal or visual prompts no more than twice per instruction, across various classroom activities.
  3. Goal: Student will regulate sensory needs in the classroom environment.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will utilize provided sensory tools or strategies (e.g., fidget toys, sensory breaks) to regulate sensory input and maintain appropriate arousal levels in the classroom setting, reducing disruptive behaviors by 50%.
  4. Goal: Student will develop social-emotional skills for peer interaction.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will engage in turn-taking and cooperative play with peers during structured play activities for at least 10 minutes, demonstrating improved social reciprocity and flexibility.
  5. Goal: Student will improve emotional regulation and coping skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will utilize at least two coping strategies (e.g., deep breathing, counting to ten) independently when experiencing frustration or anxiety, decreasing instances of emotional dysregulation by 50%.

These goals address key areas of need for kindergarten students with autism, focusing on social communication, following routines, sensory regulation, social-emotional skills, and coping strategies within the school environment.

Kindergarten Transition IEP Goals

Many school districts offer full day kindergarten now, which can be a huge change for a small child. In my opinion, kindergarten in the 2020s is too academics-focused. But, no one asked me what I thought.

It’s about learning to raise your hand, get in line, wait in line, sit for the morning meeting questions, and stuff like that. Kindergarten is a time to show off your self-help skills.

Teachers and Staff
Note: Many School District Email inboxes block email from outside entities. If you do not receive this within a few minutes, check spam or try again with a personal email address. 
Featured Image
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); you can find toileting IEP goals here.
  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. Pretend play
  8. Shares with other children
  9. Waits his/her turn in line
  10. Attends to an adult-directed task for at least X minutes
  11. Recognizes and responds to other people’s feelings
  12. Follow 1 or 2 step commands (Put your books away and get in line for recess)
  13. Stays with an age appropriate activity to completion
  14. Asks for help when needed
  15. Interacts appropriately with adults and peers
  16. Respects the rights, property and feelings of others
  17. Works cooperatively (listens to others, shares and takes turns)
  18. Demonstrates increasing self-control (focus and attention)
  19. Participates in clean-up activities
  20. Takes responsibility for own belongings (lunch, coat, etc.)
  21. Identify relationships in speaking, such as “my friend Jacob’s mom” and “Mrs. Smith, my teacher”

Kindergarten Math IEP Goals

Kindergarten math IEP goals can be pretty basic. But, the child should exhibit visualization skills and understanding quantity.

Remember when you thought that 100 of something was a lot? Well, it doesn’t matter if they think 100 pennies is a lot, as they won’t have those functional money skills yet. But if you talk about 2 of something and 100 of something, they should know that 100 is more.

Kindergarten math IEP goals are setting the stage for more goals later on. And I don’t just mean adding and subtracting. Sequencing is a math skill too.

  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

Here are more kindergarten math goals and objectives.

Here are five kindergarten math IEP goals aligned with Common Core Standards:

  1. Goal: Student will demonstrate understanding of numbers from 0 to 20.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will accurately count and recognize numbers from 0 to 20, both orally and in written form, with at least 90% accuracy.
  2. Goal: Student will develop fluency with addition and subtraction within 5.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will fluently add and subtract within 5, using objects, fingers, or drawings to solve equations, with at least 80% accuracy.
  3. Goal: Student will identify and describe shapes.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will correctly identify and describe two-dimensional shapes (e.g., square, circle, triangle, rectangle) and three-dimensional shapes (e.g., cube, sphere, cylinder) with at least 80% accuracy.
  4. Goal: Student will classify objects and count the number of objects in each category.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will classify objects into given categories (e.g., colors, shapes, sizes) and count the number of objects in each category, demonstrating understanding of the relationship between numbers and quantities.
  5. Goal: Student will engage in measurement and data activities.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will compare the length, height, and weight of objects using non-standard units (e.g., blocks, paper clips) and describe measurable attributes (e.g., longer, shorter, heavier, lighter) with at least 80% accuracy.

These goals align with the Kindergarten Common Core Standards for Mathematics and focus on foundational skills essential for kindergarten students’ mathematical development.

Kindergarten Writing Goals for an IEP

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

Teachers and Staff
Note: Many School District Email inboxes block email from outside entities. If you do not receive this within a few minutes, check spam or try again with a personal email address. 
Featured Image
  1. Matching Skills
  2. Talks in sentences 
  3. A Kindergarten IEP should include letter recognition IEP goals
  4. Follows one- and two-step oral directions
  5. Uses sentences that include two or more ideas
  6. Uses descriptive language (adjectives without knowing they are adjectives-big, little, funny, sad, yummy)
  7. Knows by heart and recites some common nursery rhymes and songs
  8. Pretends, creates and makes up songs or stories
  9. Can tells stories about everyday experiences
  10. Asks questions and expresses curiosity
  11. Expresses ideas so that others can understand
  12. Tries to write, scribble or draw
  13. Asks you to write words or notes to others
  14. Attempts to write own name and recognizes own name in print
  15. Looks at books or pictures on their own
  16. Pretends to read books by reading the pictures
  17. Tries to read in everyday situations (signs, labels, etc.) 
  18. Recognizes rhyming words
  19. Recognizes some common words in print (such as Dolch sight words)
  20. Recognizes many uppercase and lowercase letters
  21. Describes characters’ actions and feelings in a story

Here are five kindergarten writing IEP goals based on Common Core Standards:

  1. Goal: Student will demonstrate phonological awareness and letter recognition.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will identify and name upper and lowercase letters of the alphabet, including letter sounds, with at least 90% accuracy.
  2. Goal: Student will develop pre-writing skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will demonstrate proper pencil grip and control, tracing lines, shapes, and basic strokes (e.g., straight lines, circles) with increasing accuracy and control.
  3. Goal: Student will generate and convey ideas through drawing and writing.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will draw pictures and use emergent writing skills (e.g., scribbles, letter-like forms, invented spelling) to express ideas and narratives with increasing detail and clarity.
  4. Goal: Student will understand and apply basic writing conventions.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will demonstrate understanding of basic writing conventions, including using spaces between words, left-to-right progression, and capitalization of the first letter in a sentence, with at least 80% accuracy.
  5. Goal: Student will participate in shared writing experiences.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will engage in shared writing activities with peers and adults, contributing ideas, listening to others’ contributions, and collaboratively creating written texts (e.g., class stories, charts, labels).

These goals are designed to support kindergarten students in developing foundational skills in writing, aligned with Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. They focus on key aspects such as letter recognition, pre-writing skills, expressive writing, writing conventions, and collaborative writing experiences.

Cognitive IEP Goals for Kindergarten

Here are five cognitive IEP goals suitable for kindergarten students:

  1. Goal: Student will develop foundational cognitive skills for academic readiness.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will demonstrate improved attention and concentration during academic tasks, sustaining focus for at least 10 minutes independently across various learning activities.
  2. Goal: Student will enhance problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will independently identify problems, generate possible solutions, and select the most appropriate solution for simple academic tasks and social situations, demonstrating improved problem-solving abilities.
  3. Goal: Student will develop memory and recall skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will recall and verbally recount events from a story or activity presented earlier in the day with at least 80% accuracy, demonstrating improved short-term memory and recall abilities.
  4. Goal: Student will improve visual perceptual skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will accurately identify and match shapes, colors, and patterns presented in visual tasks and puzzles with increasing complexity, demonstrating improved visual discrimination and perception.
  5. Goal: Student will develop executive functioning skills.
    • Objective: By [insert date], the student will demonstrate improved planning and organization abilities by independently completing multi-step tasks (e.g., assembling materials for an activity, following a sequence of instructions) with at least 80% accuracy.

These goals address various cognitive domains essential for kindergarten students’ academic success, including attention, problem-solving, memory, visual perception, and executive functioning skills. They are designed to support the student’s cognitive development and readiness for learning in the kindergarten classroom.

I have many other resources on this site about executive functions.

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.

Teachers and Staff
Note: Many School District Email inboxes block email from outside entities. If you do not receive this within a few minutes, check spam or try again with a personal email address. 
Featured Image

But I’m going to say it one more time, when writing IEP goals, make sure you are using accurate baselines and keeping the child’s ability in mind. At age 17, my son still doesn’t have most of these skills and it would be ridiculous to hold him to this.

Yes, IEP goals are written based on Common Core. But, it doesn’t say that IEP goals should only be based on common core standards.

Free IEP Binder
Featured Image