With the advancement of technology, I feel like poor spelling skills get dismissed too easily. Too often, I’ve heard IEP team members say, “They don’t need IEP spelling goals, they can use a spell checker.”

It’s not just about the end product or making fewer spelling errors on an assignment.

spelling IEP goals
word spelling made of colorful letters on white background

The ability to spell, or not, can be very insightful information. For instance, the ability to spell strongly correlates to a child’s ability to encode and decode.

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For example, if a student spells “cat” as “k,” they were able to encode the initial consonant sound. If they spelled “cat” as “kt,” they were able to capture the initial and final consonant sounds.

When creating IEP goals for spelling letter sounds, it is important to assess the student’s ability to encode different types of sounds in words. The goal of a spelling sounds assessment is to see how many letter sounds a student can capture when spelling a word.

To create IEP goals for spelling letter sounds, it is helpful to start by assessing the student’s ability to spell CVC words. A list of CVC words that capture a wide variety of letter sounds can be used to see what sounds the student is able to capture.

The assessment should score the student’s ability to capture the first, last, and medial vowel sounds in each word.

Remember you can put any IEP goal into the goal formula to make it measurable and a smart IEP goal.

Functional communication goals worksheet.

IEP Goals for Spelling Letter Sounds

Here are ten IEP goals for spelling letter sounds:

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  1. Letter-Sound Correspondence Goal: By the end of the IEP period, when presented with a letter, the student will correctly identify the corresponding sound for at least 20 out of 26 lowercase letters of the alphabet, as measured by teacher observation and periodic assessments.
  2. Beginning Sounds Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will accurately spell words using the correct beginning sounds for at least 80% of consonants and short vowels presented in isolation, as measured by weekly spelling assessments.
  3. Ending Sounds Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will correctly identify and spell words using the appropriate ending sounds for at least 80% of consonants and short vowels presented in isolation, as assessed through teacher observation and periodic assessments.
  4. Vowel Sounds Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate proficiency in spelling words containing short and long vowel sounds, accurately distinguishing between them in written assignments with at least 90% accuracy, as measured by teacher observation and periodic assessments.
  5. Consonant Blends Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will correctly spell words containing consonant blends (e.g., bl, gr, st) with at least 80% accuracy in written assignments, as measured by teacher-created spelling assessments.
  6. Digraphs Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will accurately spell words containing common digraphs (e.g., th, sh, ch) with at least 85% accuracy in written assignments, as assessed through teacher observation and periodic assessments.
  7. R-Controlled Vowels Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate proficiency in spelling words containing r-controlled vowels (e.g., ar, er, ir) with at least 75% accuracy in written assignments, as measured by teacher-created spelling assessments.
  8. Diphthongs Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will correctly spell words containing diphthongs (e.g., oi, oy, ou) with at least 80% accuracy in written assignments, as assessed through teacher observation and periodic assessments.
  9. Silent Letters Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will accurately identify and spell words containing silent letters (e.g., kn, wr, gh) with at least 75% accuracy in written assignments, as measured by teacher-created spelling assessments.
  10. Homophones Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will correctly spell commonly confused homophones (e.g., their/there/they’re, to/too/two) in written assignments with at least 85% accuracy, as assessed through teacher observation and periodic assessments.

IEP Goals for Spelling using Assistive Technology

Here are eight Individualized Education Program (IEP) goals for spelling that incorporate the use of assistive technology:

  1. Accuracy Goal: By the end of the IEP period, when given a list of 20 spelling words, the student will spell 80% of the words correctly using assistive technology (such as spell check or word prediction software) across three consecutive trials.
  2. Independence Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will independently use assistive technology tools to correct at least 90% of spelling errors in written assignments across all subject areas.
  3. Vocabulary Expansion Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will utilize assistive technology to correctly spell and incorporate at least 10 new vocabulary words per month into written assignments across all subject areas.
  4. Editing and Revising Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate improved editing and revising skills by utilizing assistive technology to identify and correct spelling errors in written assignments, reducing errors by 50% compared to baseline data.
  5. Multisensory Learning Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will engage in multisensory spelling activities using assistive technology for at least 20 minutes per week, incorporating auditory, visual, and kinesthetic modalities to reinforce spelling concepts.
  6. Word Recognition Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will improve word recognition skills by correctly identifying and spelling high-frequency sight words with the assistance of assistive technology, achieving at least 90% accuracy on weekly assessments.
  7. Writing Fluency Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will increase writing fluency by utilizing assistive technology to spell frequently used words correctly in written assignments, resulting in a 20% increase in words written per minute compared to baseline data.
  8. Self-Advocacy Goal: By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate self-advocacy skills by independently requesting and effectively using assistive technology accommodations for spelling tasks in classroom and homework assignments.

IEP Spelling Goals relating to Common Core Standards

Here are ten spelling IEP goals aligned with Common Core Standards:

  1. Phonics Mastery Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.A): By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate mastery of phonics rules by accurately spelling words with common phonetic patterns, such as CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, with at least 90% accuracy on weekly spelling assessments.
  2. Word Analysis Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.2.3.A): By the end of the IEP period, the student will apply word analysis skills to decode and spell multi-syllabic words with common prefixes, suffixes, and root words, achieving at least 80% accuracy on spelling assessments.
  3. High-Frequency Words Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.3.3.D): By the end of the IEP period, the student will correctly spell grade-appropriate high-frequency words (e.g., the, and, said) in written assignments with at least 95% accuracy.
  4. Contextual Spelling Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.4.2.D): By the end of the IEP period, the student will apply spelling strategies, such as using context clues and morphological analysis, to spell unfamiliar words encountered in reading and writing tasks with at least 80% accuracy.
  5. Word Recognition Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.5.3.A): By the end of the IEP period, the student will improve word recognition skills by accurately spelling grade-appropriate words encountered in reading materials, achieving at least 85% accuracy on weekly spelling assessments.
  6. Orthographic Patterns Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.6.2.B): By the end of the IEP period, the student will recognize and apply common orthographic patterns (e.g., silent letters, irregular plurals) to spell words accurately in written assignments, achieving at least 80% accuracy.
  7. Vocabulary Acquisition Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.7.6): By the end of the IEP period, the student will use various strategies, including using assistive technology tools, to correctly spell academic vocabulary words encountered in content-area texts, achieving at least 70% accuracy on spelling assessments.
  8. Spelling Strategies Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.8.2.C): By the end of the IEP period, the student will demonstrate proficiency in using spelling strategies, such as mnemonic devices, word roots, and word families, to spell unfamiliar words accurately in written assignments with at least 75% accuracy.
  9. Editing and Revising Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.9-10.5): By the end of the IEP period, the student will independently edit and revise written work, including spelling errors, to ensure clarity and coherence, reducing spelling errors by 50% compared to baseline data.
  10. Application of Spelling Conventions Goal (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.5): By the end of the IEP period, the student will consistently apply standard spelling conventions, including grammar and punctuation rules, to written compositions across various genres, achieving at least 80% accuracy in spelling and mechanics.

Adjusting the Goals

To adjust the goals, change the type of support or adjust the benchmark. For instance, for students who struggle with spelling ending consonant sounds, I would change the type of support to include spelling dictation programs and text prediction programs. Additionally, I would adjust the benchmark to ensure that 80% of the words in a writing sample are spelled correctly.

It’s worth noting that many districts have assistive technology departments with experts who do evaluations. They also require that if a student is using district-provided assistive technology, they have an IEP goal that uses the tech.

Therefore, it’s essential to write the actual assistive technology program more vaguely to allow the next case manager to shift the program if needed.

IUsing assistive technology and tools can significantly impact a student’s spelling skills. By setting appropriate IEP goals and adjusting them as needed, we can help students achieve their full potential.

Reading and Writing IEP Goals

Frequently Asked Questions

What are effective IEP goals for improving spelling accuracy in special education students?

When setting IEP goals for spelling accuracy, it is important to consider the individual needs of the student. Some effective goals may include increasing the number of correctly spelled words in written assignments, improving phonemic awareness, and utilizing assistive technology to aid in spelling.

How can IEP goals address spelling challenges for students with dyslexia?

IEP goals for students with dyslexia should focus on developing phonological awareness, improving decoding skills, and increasing automaticity in recognizing common spelling patterns.

It may also be helpful to provide accommodations such as extended time for spelling assessments and the use of assistive technology.

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What are some sample IEP goals for mastering vowel teams in spelling?

Sample IEP goals for mastering vowel teams may include correctly spelling words with common vowel teams such as “ai,” “ea,” and “ee,” using vowel teams to decode unfamiliar words, and identifying the vowel team in a given word.

How should IEP goals be structured for high school students to enhance their spelling skills?

IEP goals for high school students should be tailored to their specific needs and may include increasing the complexity of written assignments, improving spelling in content-specific vocabulary, and utilizing assistive technology to aid in spelling.

Can you provide examples of IEP goals for first graders learning to spell CVC words?

Sample IEP goals for first graders learning to spell CVC words may include correctly spelling a given list of CVC words, using CVC words to decode unfamiliar words, and identifying the vowel sound in a given CVC word.

Here are a few worksheets to practice CVC words.

What strategies are recommended for setting IEP goals for irregularly spelled words?

Strategies for setting IEP goals for irregularly spelled words may include increasing exposure to commonly misspelled words, utilizing mnemonics to aid in memorization, and practicing spelling in context through activities such as sentence writing and dictation.

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