Demystifying High Leverage Strategies for IEP Students: Expert Guide!

by | Jul 11, 2023


Welcome to the world of special education, a place where every learner matters, every achievement counts, and every strategy can make a world of difference. Today, let’s dive into the often mystifying waters of high leverage strategies for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). And trust me, the water’s warm!


Understanding High Leverage Strategies

High Leverage Strategies are the MVPs in the realm of special education. They are evidence-based instructional strategies proven to dramatically enhance student learning. When applied effectively, they can empower students on IEPs to overcome reading challenges and transform into confident learners. Sounds like a win-win, right?


Explicit Instruction: Clear as Crystal

Picture yourself in a foreign country, trying to follow a recipe in a language you barely understand. Tough, right? Now imagine having a friendly local explain it in detail. Ah, relief! That’s Explicit Instruction for you—clear, detailed, and engaging.


Ms. Garcia, a 2nd grade teacher, transformed her classroom using Explicit Instruction. Step-by-step instructions and plenty of examples became her new mantra. Her IEP students began to grasp concepts faster, and more importantly, with newfound confidence. Want to follow her lead? The Explicit Instruction bookby Anita Archer and Charles Hughes is a great starting point.


Phonics Instruction: The Language of Sounds

Imagine learning a dance routine. Each step matters, right? Phonics instruction is just that – breaking down language into individual ‘dance steps’ or sounds, helping students connect sounds to letters.


Take a page out of Mr. Patel’s playbook. A kindergarten teacher, he used fun, interactive phonics games to help his students recognize letters and their corresponding sounds. Resources like Starfall are fabulous for this purpose, transforming phonics learning into a fun-filled experience!


Phonemic Awareness Instruction: The Sound Wave

Ever tried to assemble a puzzle without knowing what the final image is? Sounds tricky, right? Phonemic awareness is similar – understanding the sounds in spoken words to form a coherent picture (in this case, meaning).


Ms. Lee, a special education teacher, uses phonemic awareness activities like sound sorting and sound blending games. Her IEP students now delight in sounds and words, paving the way to reading success! Websites like Reading Rockets offer a goldmine of such activities.


Fluency Instruction: The Smooth Sailing

Fluency is the smooth highway drive of reading, where words flow with rhythm and expression. Fluency instruction is the GPS guiding students towards this smooth ride!


Take a leaf out of Mr. Miller’s book. He uses guided repeated oral reading strategies, paired with immediate feedback, to enhance his students’ reading fluency. The results are music to the ears – confident students reading with accurate, fluent expression. Online platforms like Read Naturally offer phenomenal resources for fluency instruction.


Vocabulary Instruction: Word Power

Ever faced a ‘tip-of-the-tongue’ situation, where you know what you want to say, but can’t find the right words? Vocabulary instruction seeks to banish such moments, arming students with a rich arsenal of words.


Mrs. Watson, a 4th grade teacher, uses direct vocabulary instruction to ensure her IEP students grasp the meaning of new words. Activities like vocabulary charades and word maps have turned her classroom into a vibrant world of words. The Wordly Wise 3000 series offers engaging vocabulary exercises that could supplement your instruction.


Progress Monitoring: The Growth Tracker

Progress monitoring is the fitness tracker for academic growth, giving you real-time data about students’ progress towards their IEP goals.


Ms. Rodriguez, a school leader, introduced regular progress monitoring using platforms like aimswebPlus. The result? Teachers can adapt their instruction in real-time based on student data, and students can see their growth, boosting their motivation.


Unleashing the Power of Collaboration

Education is a shared journey, and collaboration among teachers, parents, and other professionals is critical for IEP success. Remember, every member of the team brings unique insights to the table, enriching the educational experience for students on IEPs.


To wrap up, high leverage strategies, when used effectively, can significantly improve reading proficiency for IEP students. They are the roadmap guiding us towards inclusive, equitable education. So, let’s buckle up and embark on this exciting journey together. Happy teaching!