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In this lesson, we will explore what an Individual Education Program (IEP) is and the three key components of an IEP. We will also discuss who needs an IEP and who does not.

Individual Education Plan in the Classroom

Wouldn’t it be nice if children came with an instructional booklet? The booklet could spell out what the child’s strengths and weakness are. Well, in the classroom, a special-needs student has an Individual Education Program, which is like a student’s personalized instructional booklet for the teacher.

Assessing Current Academic Performance

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) has many functions; however, there are three key components that all IEPs have. The first component of the IEP is to expressly state the student’s present level of academic performance.

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For example, Tracy is a non-reader who knows no sound-symbol relationships. In print, she recognizes her name and the words ‘McDonalds’ and ‘Toys R Us.’

Personalized Educational Services

The second function is to spell out clearly to the student and the parents all of the educational services that can be tailored to meet the individual educational, social and emotional needs of the student. For example, Tracy has difficulty reading but has no difficulty in comprehension. In this case, Tracy would be assigned an educational professional to orally administer her exams to her.

Measurable Goals and Objectives

The third function of the IEP is to set up objectives and measurable goals that the student will reach during the academic year. For example, the objective for Tracy is that, given vowels and digraphs, she will say the correct sounds at 30 sounds per minute with no more than 5 errors.

This objective will help Tracy to reach the goal of being able to read the first-grade material orally at 110-130 words per minute with only random errors.

Who Needs an IEP?

Students who have been previously identified as having learning disabilities are the ones who might need an IEP. However, a student can have a learning disability, such as dyslexia, and still be able to keep up with the classwork.

In this case, they would not need an IEP.

Lesson Summary

In summary, not all students who have a learning disability will need an IEP. An IEP is only needed for the student who is both learning-disabled and is functioning below his or her academic level.Although each student is unique, there are three elements on every student’s IEP. The first element is determining if the student’s academic performance is below normal. The second element is deciding which services the school can offer to the student.

The third element is to set measurable goals. If the goals are met, it can be assumed that the educational interventions were successful. However, if the goals were not met, then the educational strategies need to be re-examined.

Lesson Objective

After watching this lesson, you should be able to paraphrase the three main components of an Individual Education Program and understand when one is needed.

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