Organization/Study Skills IEP Goals

I’m a good learner, but I’m terrible at studying. Always have been. Other than re-reading chapters and notes and rote memorization, I never knew what studying was. No one ever taught me study skills. It was just expected that all students knew how to study and learn.

I think many students struggle with study skills, particularly if you have an IEP and/or struggle with executive functioning skills. If a student lacks a skill, you either have to teach the skill or make accommodations for lack of skill.

a student frustrated with studying because he lacks study skills

That’s a decision that should be made within the IEP team. It’s important to involve the student to the maximum extent possible. For example, if a child struggles with working memory, there are exercises and tasks that they can do to improve it. However, at some point the team needs to decide if it is more important for a student to be able to recall the information from memory, or know where to find that information in their notes or textbook.

What’s more important–the ability to have 100% retrieval from memory, or knowing where to find the information and how to apply it?

One of the more common requests I get is for IEP goals for Study Skills. So, I’ve compiled a list of Study Skills IEP Goals, as well as some accommodation ideas and resources where you can go to find more assistance.

Study Skills Goals

Remember that you have to add in absolutes to make these measurable. I’ve included the IEP Goal Formula at the bottom of this post, but these 10 items will get you started.

Teachers and Staff
28 Free PDF Pages of IEP Data Collection Sheets 
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Also, I have an IEP Goal Bank if you need more ideas.

  1. Given the content areas of study, Student will be able to anticipate and verbalize/list X number of test questions.
  2. Student will be able to identify X number of concerns that lead to test anxiety and brainstorm 1-2 solutions for each.
  3. Given a calendar and content materials, student will be able to plot out study sessions to follow.
  4. Student will self-identify X number of concepts that he/she is struggling to master and ask for assistance.
  5. At the end of a study session, student will be able to verbalize X number of concepts or facts that were reviewed.
  6. Student will be able to identify X number of items that are a distraction while studying and develop a remedy for each.
  7. Given a list of options, student will identify which methods work best for learning material and concepts. (IE- graphic organizers, having someone read material, watching video, discussion)
  8. When given an already graded/corrected test, student will review with tutor/teacher the incorrect answers and where correct information can be found. (can also include identifying strategies for next time)
  9. Student will self-identify their most successful method of reading and note-taking and develop a strategy for each.
  10. Student will be able to self-identify their best environment for test-taking. (quiet room, being able to talk out loud, verbal test, sensory break beforehand, etc.)

Note Taking | IEP Goals | Accommodations

Many students are expected to take notes during a class or lecture, but have no idea what to write down. To be an effective note-taker, you must have competent receptive language. This includes voice, body language, expressions, volume, etc.

Once the student can do that, they must be able to extract what is (seemingly) important and write it down. And, write it down in a manner that it can be referred to later.

This is a pretty high level executive functioning skill. And, why it is such a struggle for so many kids with learning disabilities. It would be irresponsible of me to list IEP goals for note-taking, when those goals are the ultimate. So much foundational content must be mastered first. I would recommend you do a deep dive with the student to pinpoint their issues, and accommodate the lack of the skill until the student learns how to take notes. Here are some note taking resources and AT.

  1. Open Text Summarizer summarizes text ~ 40 different languages, identifying key words and allowing you to determine the summarization ratio.
  2. OneNote is part of the Microsoft Office Suite and provides versatility in note-taking, sharing, searching, and collaborating.
  3. MindMeister is a free-to-fee web-based application to support mind-mapping as a means of brainstorming, organizing ideas, note-taking, and project-planning.
  4. Diigo is a free to fee based online program that allows you to collect, organize, highlight, and annotate your web-based research information into your cloud library. You can highlight text, screen capture, or save archived web material to review any time.
  5. SMMRY: A free, quick and easy-to-use summarizing website is SMMRY. Its main purpose is to provide an efficient and understandable summary to a text, and it does so by providing numerous options to customize the summary.
  6. Summarizer is a web-based text summarization tool. You can upload url links and the tool will extract main ideas/details. A helpful way to quickly review resources during the research process.
  7. Online Summarize Tool : Under the website, Tools4Noobs is a good summarizing tool called- Online Summarize Tool, which is similar to other online tools but allows options in customizing the resulting summary that is not available in others such as maximum sentence length and number of lines.
  8. AutoSummarizer: “is another quick and easy summarizing website. This tool is still on its beta stage and is still on its way to being fully developed, but it is a very usable site despite this. It ranks sentences based on their value, and uses the extraction-based summarization algorithm.”
  9. Free Summarizer: “A website for summarizing very simple but long texts is Free Summarizer. It is very quick and easy to use and allows you the option of determining the number of sentences you want the resulting summary to be.”

Test Taking IEP Accommodations

  1. Quiet room
  2. Exercise or sensory break before test
  3. Snack or bathroom break before test
  4. Ability to read out loud to self during test
  5. Have test read to them
  6. Able to answer verbally (either directly to teacher or recorded)
  7. Fidget toy during exam
  8. Extended test taking time
  9. Alternative assessment method (IE book report or project instead of a test)
  10. Notes or graphic organizers during test
  11. Open book and open note test
  12. Group/Partner test
  13. Teacher/para/tutor develop real-world applications for concept and discussion
  14. monthly, weekly or bi-weekly phone or in person conferences with parents (progress monitoring)
  15. homework assignments chunked down by the teacher to define each task
  16. have the child write down verbal questions to aid in processing
  17. breaking down tests into segments
  18. pre-teaching information, then post-teaching afterward
  19. alternatives for completing assignments (typed instead of written, or verbal)
  20. provide facilitated experiences (opportunities to apply information)
  21. frequent test breaks with opportunities to move
  22. testing in a study carrel
  23. testing in the morning only (or best time for student)
  24. masking test items so only single questions are visible
  25. permission to hand in all assignments late, as pre-determined
  26. modify assignments to only include essential content
  27. intersperse easy and difficult demands on an 80/20 basis (and work to increase)
  28. longer assignments are broken down and scheduled out in pictures or words

Study Skills Websites

These websites are free and offer more information on how to develop good study skills. They also can help parents and students identify and define what good study skills look like.

  1. LD Pride
  2. Learning Strategies Center
  3. StudyGS
  4. Great Schools
  5. Learning Connection/Stanford
  6. Watch Know Learn
  7. IMindQ
  8. Uncommon Help
  9. Mullen Memory

Hopefully this is enough to get you started on a path to success.

IEP goal formula for special education