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What do you put on IEPs (Individual Education Plans)?
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 1:43 pm
Take a twelve year old boy:
Raven Matrix (completing patterns) result: "intellectually average";
Neale Analysis Reading Accuracy: Reading Age 6:5;
Excluded from school for shocking behaviour several times, first at age 8;
Frequent intervention and one-to-one support for literacy all his school life;
Most reports most years saying he had shown improvement in reading - in fact virtually no lasting improvement;
Now about to begin a synthetic phonics teaching programme.
What would you put on the literacy part of his IEP?
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:31 pm
The IEPs I write are extremely brief, and sometimes I fear not detailed enough, but looking at what I wrote for a 13 year old student with a similar reading age on the Neale:
Generally I do a code knowledge check so that would be included and used in the programme.
semester objectives (about 20 weeks)
ensure S. can blend sounds for reading
increase S.'s code knowledge
ensure S. can segment words for spelling
followed by the name of the programme if any that I am using.
I would be very interested also to see how others write up an IEP
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:46 pm
A programme of systematic, explicit phonics instruction.
To improve understand of the Alphabetic code and its application to reading and spelling.
To use phonic strategies for reading and spelling
I think that's the sort of thing that would go on our IEPs, but I would think that, ideally, the targets should be broken into 'long term' - as are the two I've suggested, and 'short term' steps, based on the programme being used with him, with a review period and success criteria specified.
If this is a 'school' IEP, can his targets also be related to the targets set by subject teachers? (I'm assumingthat, age 12, he's at secondary)
How well are the IEPs used? At our school they tend to be shoved into a file by the subject teachers and never again see the light of day!
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 2:52 pm
Well maizie I am pleased to see the brevity of your IEP and that it is pretty similar to mine really, don't you think.
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 6:26 pm
This would be a great step forward were all IEPs to be as brief and to the point as those Maizie and ZAC give as examples. I looked at around 50-60 IEPs up to 2004 and without exception they were pointless, puffled up and counterproductive - following the NLS 'strategies'.
Posted: Fri Feb 24, 2006 7:38 pm
Our IEPs (termly) have to be very tight and specific. Which sounds the pupil is going to learn for example. Our LEA is pretty keen on this and it is looked at as part of our SEN quality audit. All targets are supposed to be testable and quantifiable - difficult sometimes. They are kept in class teachers' planning files and must be reflected in weekly planning. All TAs have a copy too as do parents. Pupils have their own version in 'pupil- speak' -'I will learn to....by......'. Really not worth the paper they are written on unless they are properly.
Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 11:18 am
From my experience, IEPs have only one function: to keep everyone (except the failing pupil) out of trouble. I spent almost 3 years in the SEN department of a Norwich comprehensive, and never once did a teacher consult an IEP. And why should they? they certainly didn't have the time to do anything about their pupils' appalling standards of literacy, not after they had fulfilled all the demands of the National Curriculum. I paid no attention to them either, even though they were written--at a quite considerable expense of time--by my well-meaning and hard-working boss, the Senco. He, like most Sencos I have met, knew very little about literacy, although he had the honesty to admit it. The time spent writing IEPs could be much better spent working with kids. Admittedly, there is now software which allows these little literary gems to be written in the cut-and-paste mode, which I suppose is some sort of improvement.
The whole concept of IEPs is all a part of the modern management concept of spreading responsibility, so that no one has to carry the can when things don't work. The reality at the school where I taught was that I had the entire responsibility for teaching decoding skills to SEN pupils, and I had the very able assistance of two of our learning support staff. Our Senco helped a bit too, but he had far to many admin responsibilities to be of much use. But in my last year, we got a new head who was a model of modern management practice. I was given a 'line manager' who couldn't tell a phoneme from a lampshade. I quit before I was shoved, as did twenty of the best teachers. Within 18 months, the new head had the school on special measures.
Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 12:22 pm
From my experience, IEPs have only one function: to keep everyone (except the failing pupil) out of trouble. I spent almost 3 years in the SEN department of a Norwich comprehensive, and never once did a teacher consult an IEP. And why should they? they certainly didn't have the time to do anything about their pupils' appalling standards of literacy, not after they had fulfilled all the demands of the National Curriculum.
Had to laugh, this describes the situation so accurately!
However, my goal, at the school I work in, is to get as many of the teaching staff as possible aware of (and using) the very simple phonic strategies which would help to improve reading and spelling for the majority of our children (not just the ones I work with ).
Strategies are these:
1) To help children to sound out
unfamiliar words when reading aloud
2) To help children to segment words for spelling
3) To use both of the above when introducing new subject specific words.
Some staff are trying to do this, but most are hampered by their ignorance of 'phonics'.......... (I think it would improve some of the teachers' spelling skills, too, but that's a different story!)
I think that it is only by trying to do this, link IEP strategies to classroom practice, that the IEPs begin to acquire any usefulness.
Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:20 pm
I think the point about IEPs is that they only work if the people putting them into practice are the people who draw them up in the first place and if the pupils and their parents are aware of their content. How the first can be achieved in a high school is beyond me! This is probably why IEPs in their present form are only really of value in primary schools.
Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2006 7:23 pm
You've touched a raw point with me, bluebell. I think software with phrases for IEPs (or for reports) are diabolical. I said so at a school I was at, but I was ignored by the others who thought it was wonderful to have the phrases provided. What do they think IEPs are for? Apparently only for showing off to those who ask for paperwork.
By the way, thank you to others on this thread. I've found the discussion useful. :)
Posted: Sun Feb 26, 2006 3:28 pm
We used to use 'IEP writer' but teachers found it hard to use and weren't satisfied with the standard phrases. We now use something else (can't remember its name) which 'child-friendly'. It is basically an A4 pro forma and staff talk to the children as they draw it up. The idea is that children suggest the targets and the language is in 'child friendly' terms. In practice there needs to be a bit of leading as the children are young and often don't perceive (or admit) the problem the adults have identified.
'IEP writer' was useful in that it focused thinking on specific targets but what we do now is so much quicker, can be done on any computer once the pro forma is there and is more flexible. The tricky thing is getting those targets right and measurable.