Each student was fantastic! They were articulate, remarkably accurate and honest in their assessments of themselves and good self-advocates.
IEPs are often dust covered documents which students see as having little relevance to their education or lives. Throughout the year we have tried to take a step towards having our students be true partners in their learning. They have been invited to their IEP meetings. Most have chosen to be present for at least part. In class we often talk about IEP goals, strategies and tools. A familiar question is "Why does he get to ...?" The answer is "It's in his IEP. If you think that it would help you to succeed, let me know and I can add it to your IEP as well."
Some of the tools which students have requests are - sit on a fitness ball; use the computer for learning; goodies when I do something well; have another student help me when I find work challenging; take a break or phone my parent when I am upset; use the iPad when I have completed work.
I am so pleased with the feeling of accomplishment that our students obviously felt about their year. Well done!
I think this is an example of how 21st Century learning ideals can be incorporated into special education without giving up the intensive specialized instruction which should be at its heart.
Student Led Conference Form
Sample IEP Goal Self-Evaluation