IEP Goals Anxiety Can Go Away - Mindfully Educating (2023)

Do you ever feel IEP goals anxiety when you finally sit down to write an IEP for a student? Maybe you start searching the internet looking for any smart goals for IEP examples. Or better yet, perhaps you are searching for a simple IEP goals template that you can use. The IEP goals template that you find might not work, and you are wondering what are the 5 components of a measurable annual goal for an IEP anyways. Take a deep breath and relax; all the feeling of IEP goals anxiety is about to go away!

Are you Tired of Looking Online at Smart Goals for IEP Examples?

IEP Goals Anxiety Can Go Away - Mindfully Educating (1)

That feeling of IEP goals anxiety is about to be a thing of the past! No longer are you going to be searching the internet the night before an IEP is due looking for smart goals for IEP examples? Instead, you are about to feel confident writing your own goals and objectives!

You want the best for your student, and it is okay if you are not sure what is the best for them. That is why the IEP process is essential. Throughout the year, you have the opportunity to watch the child in front of you grow into their potential. You can see them break through walls and flourish! Watching a lightbulb go off is a dreamy feeling that you want to linger onto for as long as you can remember.

Those feelings of success are what you strive for as a teacher. The sentiments of growth keep you pushing to be the best teacher you can be. Those feelings are what will drive your students to reach their most tremendous potential.

Stop searching for smart goals for IEP examples every time; you can make a template that allows you to input any information quickly. Then you will start to create a realistic and meaningful innovative plan and reduce any IEP goals anxiety that you are feeling!

How to make your own IEP Goals Template to Reuse Every Time

The perks of making an IEP goals template are using this template, time and time again! A template is a total game-changer and ends up saving you so much time in the long run! Your IEP goals anxiety will be a thing of the past.

To start your IEP goals template, decide on the goal area you are focusing on first. An easy way to establish it is by looking at the current IEP and seeing the first goal you are responsible for writing. In this case, let’s pretend the first case was a goal related to math.

Start by writing out any support your student will need to achieve the grade-level curriculum. Does your student benefit from a multi-sensory approach, guided practice, calculator or multiplication chart, or anything else? What is required for the student to make progress?

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The next piece of your IEP goals template is to decide how you will be collecting data. Will you manage it weekly or bi-weekly? Will it be on a short assessment of 5 or 10 questions? Are you measuring just accuracy or also independence on the skill? In how many observations would you like the student to achieve that accuracy rate?

All these questions might increase your IEP goals anxiety, but there is a reason you need to think about all of that. An IEP is an individualized plan, so the IEP should target the goals set for each student on your caseload directly at that specific student’s needs. However, that does not mean your IEP goals template does not need to be the same.

Creating an IEP goals template and answering all of those questions will influence your classroom management and lesson structure. If you provide specific accommodations, you might offer them to various students in your room and make that a center. Maybe you decide you are collecting IEP math data bi-weekly, so you know to create progress monitoring assessments for bi-weekly checks. All of the questions that make your IEP goals template will simultaneously create the learning environment you provide for your outstanding students! Creating a conducive learning environment will ease any IEP goals anxiety you are experiencing because you have the systems set up in your classroom for success!

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What are the 5 Components of a Measurable Annual Goal for an IEP – Made Easy

You created the IEP goals template, but what are the 5 components of a measurable annual goal for an IEP? The five components of a measured annual goal for an IEP are the same as a SMART goal. A SMART goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. By making sure your IEP goals are SMART, your IEP goals anxiety will significantly reduce! You can find many smart goals for IEP examples online, but once you start getting in the routine of writing these goals, you will be a master.

An example IEP goals template would be the following:

By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

To help any IEP goals anxiety, here is a fill-in-the-blank template that matches the above example:

By the end of [name]’s IEP cycle, given [supports], [name] will [skill] for [percentage]% accuracy with [percentage]% independence in [#] out of [#] observable academic observations as measured by [assessment type].

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This IEP goals template does use all the pieces of a SMART goal, but not necessarily in the same order. Below are all the pieces in the order of how they appear in the goal.

How to Create Timely IEP Goals that Promote Engagement

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Any IEP goal you create is supposed to last for an entire IEP cycle which is one year. Therefore, you already know the amount of time you will be spending on your goal.

Where is this addressed in your IEP goals template?

By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

How to Ensure your IEP Goals are Realistic for an IEP Cycle

You now know the goal will take an entire cycle to complete (one year), so how do you know if this goal is realistic to take a year? Here is the fun part! It is all about data! Yes, you need data to write the goal.

Once you develop your goal, you should record baseline data that you can include in the report. This data outlines where the student currently is. Put that data right on the graph that you will be using during the IEP term. On that graph, mark your end goal. From there, draw the goal line connecting your baseline data to your goal data. Now, split the chart up into either three or four equal sections (dependent on your progress report cycle) and decide if your student can realistically make that amount of progress each term.

If the answer is no, then the goal is not realistic. Will make way more each term? Then, the goal is not practical. If the answer is yes, and that growth seems reasonable, then the goal is realistic. These goal lines are just predictions, which is why you should check in with the data each progress report cycle to see if any other interventions are needed.

Where is this addressed in your IEP goals template?

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By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

How to Make Amazingly Specific IEP Goals that Build Skills

Be specific about the skill you are trying to measure. What is the fundamental skill your student needs to improve to reach the grade-level curriculum the best? If you are having trouble coming up with specific skills, you can use the Common Core State Standards to create standards-based IEP goals.

A great way to incorporate standards-based IEP goals is to look at previous grade levels at the building block to a specific grade-level standard. What previous standard has this student not mastered that is keeping them from reaching success at grade level?

Where is this addressed in your IEP goals template?

By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

How to Write Attainable IEP Goals so Students Reach Success

Attainability ties back to the goal being realistic. What are your accuracy and independence rates, and can this student be on the right track to reach the goal? If the student is currently at a 10% independence level on baseline data, do you think in one year, they can get 100%. Modify the percentages based on what you think would be attainable.

Where is this addressed in your IEP goals template?

By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

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How to Develop your IEP Goals Measurable and Easy to Manage

You recorded the baseline data and knew the end goal, but how will you monitor progress? Making sure the students are receiving the support they need to reach their goals is essential. You may have thought you listed it all out on the IEP but realized other supports to make the goal possible throughout the process. That is okay; mention those supports in your progress reports. If your progress monitoring shows students a decrease in data or a plateau, you need to switch something up.

Where is this addressed in your IEP goals template?

By the end of Jennifer’s IEP cycle, given a calculator, Jennifer will solve multi-step equations using inverse operations for 80% accuracy with 100% independence in 3 out of 4 observable academic observations as measured by bi-weekly assessments.

Easing your IEP Goals Anxiety so you Reach Success

Now your template is made, and you are ready to write! Follow along with the IEP goals template and let us know on Instagram what you think!

Want to Learn about Taking Realistic and Meaningful Data Collection for IEP Goals?

You wrote the goal, and your anxiety is at ease. But wait, what about all the data you need to start collecting?! Don’t worry, we have you covered with material all about data collection for IEP goals. Sign up to receive a free guide all about managing your caseload with ease! By signing up, you will also receive tips straight to your inbox each week with access to materials and resources to make data collection for IEP goals super simple! You can also read some more blog posts all about special education!

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What are some goals for anxiety? ›

Major Goals
  • Increased understanding of anxious feelings. Develop vocabulary to describe anxiety or fears. ...
  • Correct irrational thinking. Identify specific areas of cognitive distortion (“Stinking thinking”). ...
  • Improved coping with anxiety and anxiety symptoms. ...
  • Improved insight. ...
  • Reduce vulnerability.

What are 3 strategies for managing anxiety? ›

Anxiety management strategies
  • Slow breathing. When you're anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. ...
  • Progressive muscle relaxation. Find a quiet location. ...
  • Stay in the present moment. ...
  • Healthy lifestyle. ...
  • Take small acts of bravery. ...
  • Challenge your self-talk. ...
  • Plan worry time. ...
  • Get to know your anxiety.

What can students do to relieve anxiety to perform better? ›

10 Ways to Help Students Who Struggle With Anxiety
  • Practice those deep breaths. ...
  • Take a break and go outside. ...
  • Talk openly about anxiety. ...
  • Get kids moving. ...
  • Try walking and talking. ...
  • Focus on the positive by having students keep a gratitude journal. ...
  • Remind kids to eat healthy and stay well. ...
  • Share a story with your students.
6 Oct 2021

What are some accommodations for students with anxiety? ›

Accommodations to help the anxious student
  • Extra time and warnings before transitions.
  • Preferential seating (near the door, near the front of the room, near the teacher's desk)
  • Clearly stated and written expectations (behavioral and academic)
  • Frequent check-ins for understanding.

What are the Big 5 ideas to assist with anxiety? ›

Here are 5 strategies that can help make anxiety easier to deal with:
  • Challenge anxious thoughts.
  • Recognize some negative thinking patterns that foster worry, fear, and anxiety.
  • Cultivate optimistic thinking.
  • Take a timeout.
  • Create an anxiety toolbox.
25 Feb 2017

What are the 3 threes for anxiety? ›

Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm.

What is the most effective intervention for anxiety? ›

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective form of psychotherapy for anxiety disorders. Generally a short-term treatment, CBT focuses on teaching you specific skills to improve your symptoms and gradually return to the activities you've avoided because of anxiety.

What are four suggestions for treating anxiety? ›

Some ways to manage anxiety disorders include learning about anxiety, mindfulness, relaxation techniques, correct breathing techniques, dietary adjustments, exercise, learning to be assertive, building self-esteem, cognitive therapy, exposure therapy, structured problem solving, medication and support groups.

Can a IEP be used for anxiety? ›

Your students' OCD or anxiety symptoms may qualify as a disability if they are severe enough that they impact their ability to learn. In these cases, the student who is in public school is eligible for a 504 Plan or an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).

Is anxiety a special educational need? ›

Anxiety can be a 'Special Educational Needs & Disability' issue (SEND), as clearly defined in the 'Special Educational Needs Code of Practice', since it is likely to impact on your child's ability to learn if left untreated.

Is anxiety considered a learning disability? ›

While anxiety can certainly make things like focusing and paying attention more difficult, anxiety is not a cause of learning difficulties, but rather one of many symptoms. Children with learning differences are significantly more likely to have challenges with anxiety than children without a learning difference.

What are the 3 biggest or most frequent triggers for your anxiety? ›

Experiences which can trigger anxiety problems include things like:
  • physical or emotional abuse.
  • neglect.
  • losing a parent.
  • being bullied or being socially excluded.
  • experiencing racism.

What is the 3 3 1 rule for anxiety? ›

It involves looking around your environment to identify three objects and three sounds, then moving three body parts. Many people find this strategy helps focus and ground them when anxiety overwhelms them.

What are the 5 levels of anxiety? ›

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder. ...
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ...
  • Panic Disorder. ...
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) ...
  • Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Are there 4 levels of anxiety? ›

Anxiety levels are typically classified by the level of distress and impairment experienced into four categories: mild anxiety, moderate anxiety, severe anxiety and panic level anxiety.

Which is the most treatable anxiety disorder? ›

Living with anxiety can be challenging. However, like other anxiety disorders, GAD is highly treatable. Some of the most effective treatments include psychotherapy, medication, and making lifestyle changes. In this article, we provide an overview of GAD, including its symptoms and causes.

What is an IEP for anxiety? ›

Students with anxiety may require an Individualized Education Program (IEP) if they require Specially Designed Instruction and/or Related Services to address the anxiety. If a student's needs can be met with only accommodations, a Section 504 Agreement can be implemented.

Does anxiety fall under other health impairment? ›

It also can refer to a heightened alertness to stimuli, like in the case of ADD and ADHD. OHI can also include sensory integration dysfunction, anxiety disorder, asthma, sickle cell anemia, diabetes, epilepsy, lead poisoning leukemia, nephritis, food allergies.

What are some 504 accommodations for anxiety? ›

What Every 504 Plan Needs to Include: the Top 5 Accommodations for Anxiety Every Plan Should Have
  • Discipline. This is often the greatest fear of a student with anxiety. ...
  • Class Participation Expectations and Presentations. ...
  • Testing Conditions. ...
  • Considering Other Environments and Special Events. ...
  • A Safe Person.
12 Feb 2018

Why is anxiety not a disability? ›

However, an anxious personality or general anxiety while working cannot automatically be considered a mental impairment. To rise to the level of a disability, the employee's anxiety must substantially limit one or more major life activities of the individual.

Is anxiety in a child considered a disability? ›

Does a Child's Anxiety Qualify for Disability Benefits? Only children with very severe anxiety will be approved for SSI disability benefits. Teenagers and children who have serious eating disorders that are causing functional limitations may qualify for SSI.

Is anxiety an emotional disability? ›

Some conditions that might be present in students found to have an Emotional Disability are anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, conduct disorder, eating disorders, and schizophrenia.

What type of anxiety qualify for disability? ›

Anxiety disorders such as OCD, panic disorders, phobias or PTSD can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. Those with anxiety can qualify for disability if they are able to prove their anxiety makes it impossible to work.

What type of disability is anxiety? ›

Social Security's medical criteria for claiming disability benefits for anxiety disorders are found in the Listing of Impairments for Mental Disorders, subsection §12.06 Anxiety and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders.

What learning disabilities cause anxiety? ›

A child with a Learning Disability or ADHD may continuously have difficulty meeting deadlines or completing their work, which again, can cause children to be anxious if these patterns persist. Research suggests that children who have LD or ADHD can sometimes have lower working memory capabilities.

What are short term goals for anxiety? ›

In order to look forward to the adventures of your life without fearing panic, one short-term goal must be to tolerate mild to moderate symptoms of anxiety. If you can accept those symptoms arising on occasion, and if you can trust in your ability to manage them, then your fear of them will diminish.

What are some examples of treatment goals? ›

Examples of goals include:

The patient will learn to cope with negative feelings without using substances. The patient will learn how to build positive communication skills. The patient will learn how to express anger towards their spouse in a healthy way.

What are some goals for mental health? ›

Examples of Mental Health Goals
  • To practice on self-love and self-compassion.
  • Take care of and be kind to your body.
  • Make time for mindfulness.
  • Find new ways to manage stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Seek support (from friends and family or by starting therapy)
10 Dec 2020

What are 3 factors considered to successful treatment? ›

The first is the use of evidence-based treatment that is deemed appropriate for your particular issue. The second important factor is the clinical expertise of the psychologist or therapist. The third factor is your own characteristics, values, preferences, and culture.

What are the 4 types of treatment? ›

Types of Treatment Methods
  • Targeted Therapies: A targeted therapy is designed to treat only the cancer cells and minimize damage to normal, healthy cells. ...
  • Chemotherapy: ...
  • Surgery: ...
  • Radiation Therapies: ...
  • Biological Therapy: ...
  • Hormonal Therapy:

What are smart treatment goals? ›

SMART goals help to ensure that the treatment being provided is clinically appropriate and meaningful to the member. SMART goals (and related objectives) provide a member with the clarity and motivation needed for successful goal completion, within an identified period of time.

What are the 4 goals of therapy? ›

Goal Setting in Therapy
  • Changing Behaviors.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Relationships.
  • Enhancing Your Ability to Cope.
  • Facilitating Decision-Making.
  • Development.
21 Dec 2020

What are the 5 major goals of counseling provide a specific example each? ›

Five Major Goals of Counselling
  • Behaviour Change. Enable clients to live more productive and satifying life. ...
  • Enhancing coping skills. Helping individuals to cope with new situations and challenges.
  • Promote decision making. assisting the individual to make good decisions. ...
  • Improving relationships. ...
  • Facilitate client's potential.

What are examples of smart goals? ›

5. SMART goal example for increasing sales
  • Specific: I will learn new sales techniques to increase sales at work.
  • Measurable: My goal is to double my sales in four months.
  • Attainable: I've been a sales associate for two years now. ...
  • Relevant: I want to feel more confident at my job and learn new skills.
5 Aug 2022

What are 5 strategies to improve mental health? ›

5 steps to mental wellbeing
  • Connect with other people. Good relationships are important for your mental wellbeing. ...
  • Be physically active. Being active is not only great for your physical health and fitness. ...
  • Learn new skills. ...
  • Give to others. ...
  • Pay attention to the present moment (mindfulness)

What are 5 examples of good mental health? ›

You probably have good mental health if:
  • you are confident when faced with new situations or people.
  • you feel optimistic.
  • you do not always blame yourself.
  • you set goals.
  • you feel good about yourself.
  • you have good self esteem.


1. Students with Anxiety: Teaching Strategies, Modifications & More
(Teachings in Education)
2. Wellness Webinar Series: Simple Mindfulness For Decreasing Stress
(Cure SMA)
3. What's normal anxiety -- and what's an anxiety disorder? | Body Stuff with Dr. Jen Gunter
4. Signs You Have Anxious Attachment | Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Self Help
(Doc Snipes)
5. Sensory-Focused Strategies to Manage Daily Anxiety
6. Managing OCD and Anxiety in School
(Tourette Association of America)
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