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- I don't know where to start when you write a goal like that.
- It's an IEP not a grocery list
- Just because they got it wrong on the test doesn't mean it needs to be a goal.
- Your objectives don't have to measure 200 things
- Just because they qualified with that score doesn't mean they should be judged by it.
- Johnny will define grade level vocabulary using category plus function plus 2 descriptors.
- Johnny will improve knowledge of vocabulary be defining 40 7th grade curriculum words by April 2013.
- Johnny will answer questions related to grade level reading material with 80% accuracy.
I'm open to debate on this one. I think this is our way of tying speech therapy goals to the curriculum . We are trying to meet state standards or common core because we are working on grade level vocabulary. It is functional, our students need to understand grade level vocabulary or curriculum vocabulary in order to participate in fully in their classroom.
Here's my thoughts, most of the students or clients I work with, need to be working on vocabulary that is significantly below grade level. Often times their reading skills are also below "grade level." If a student really only needed help keeping up with their grade level material, then maybe a tutor would be more appropriate then a speech language pathologist.
I've written a lot of goals for defining vocabulary. Now, I'm starting to think that this is a better goal to write when working on sequencing or oral narratives. I love programs like the Expanding Expression Tool which helps to build a framework for the student to explain or define vocabulary/events. I think it helps a lot .
Here's what I'm wondering: Is being able to define vocabulary a good measure of a student's vocabulary abilities? Does it predict whether or not a student is able to use the word appropriately and comprehend the word in the text? I don't have an answer for this. I'd love to hear your opinions.
Jenn from Crazy Speech World has recommended and written about the book Bringing Words to Life. I've started reading it and really like how they explain teaching vocabulary. There are a lot of good examples and methods for making sure the student really understands the meanings of the word.
This book was also my first experience with Tiered vocabulary instruction. Tiered One words are basic vocabulary vocabulary that we would expect students in a mainstreamed setting to know (house, run, find.) Tier 2 words are words that are more academic in nature but are used in a variety of classrooms (ex. analyze, predict.) Tier 3 words are words that are specific to one class or area (ex. precipitation, geometry). Since I've read part of the book, I'm rethinking some of these "curriculum" vocabulary words. I want to start focusing more on Tier 2 or "high frequency" vocabulary. The great thing about the internet is that you can do a search to get a lot of different lists to get you started. This would be a fantastic resource-especially if you are pushing in to classrooms. I could really see this technique being successful with a lot of students. You would just need to get a copy of the textbook and pick out 5-8 words to "preteach" during your lesson.
Is anyone else a half a book reader? I'm a SLP book hoarder. I usually start out and get really excited about the book and then once I have the gist of it, I put it on my bookshelf and start the next book. I had a counselor once who asked if I had ADHD, I don't think so, but the half-read books on my bookshelf may suggest differently.
Based on the information in this book, I think a more effective vocabulary goal might be that the student is able to USE the vocabulary word within several appropriate contexts. To me this is really demonstrating that the student is understanding the vocabulary. I want to be careful not to write a goal like "Given a vocabulary word, Johnny will use it in a sentence with 80% accuracy." I also want to make sure that it isn't a nightmare to chart on so I may want to work from a closed set of vocabulary words. (ex. given 40 words.) I also want to make sure that it's where I'm getting my closed set of words from-sometimes that 40 words can be really confusing-especially if the student transfers.
So maybe my goal would look like:
Given weekly instruction targeting 5 high frequency vocabulary words taken from classroom texts, Johnny will demonstrate the ability to use 60% of taught vocabulary appropriately in sentence level productions over three sessions.
This is another goal that may need some work. But I can tell that I am going to be teaching 5 new words per week. I know where I am getting the vocabulary words are coming from. I have some flexibility with what vocabulary I choose so I can pick vocabulary that is appropriate to the child. I can keep a running list and check words off as I hear them used appropriately within our activities. When progress reports are due, I can tally these up and get a figure. Assuming that the school year is 36 weeks, I'd be working on 180 vocabulary words in the year or 45 words per quarter. I might make up a sheet like:
What do you think? Is writing goals to work on grade level vocabulary at your school? I'm taking a break from goal writing for December. In 2014, I'm planning on going a little more in depth on some of my ideas for different goal areas. I'm thinking about picking one topic per month. Anything you find you struggle with? If you liked this post, please take time to comment or share with others on Pinterest or Facebook.