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Summer reading ... for parents

How long has it been since you had a summer reading list? While it's tempting to take a few months off from the rigors of the special education world, the longer days of summer are a great time to dive into all those issues you've been wrestling with during the school year. Here are a few books (nothing too heavy!) to check out. They'll help you step back, learn some new skills, and maybe even strengthen your marriage. Not a bad way to spend the summer!

By Valle Dwight

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Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives

Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives

Writing Measurable IEP Goals and Objectives
by Barbara Bateman and Cynthia M. Herr
Attainment Company Inc. (2006, updated edition), $25

Go look at your child’s IEP. Is there a goal in there that says something like “Johnny will improve his reading”? That’s just the kind of goal this book seeks to eradicate. Because it’s not measurable, it’s essentially meaningless. This book explains in simple terms what a measurable goal is and how to write one. It gives examples, but its strength is in illustrating a measurable goal. For the reading one, a better objective might be “Johnny will orally read from a third-grade basal passage at an average rate of at least 70 words per minute with four or fewer errors.”

If you as a parent understand measurable goals, you can insist that the team start using them. Suddenly your child’s IEP will be a much more valuable document.

Valle Dwight is a reporter, writer, and mother of two school-aged boys. She has written for many magazines, including FamilyFun, Wondertime, and Working Mother.