High Leverage Strategies: The Roadmap to IEP Students’ Success!

by | Jul 13, 2023


Picture yourself embarking on an exciting road trip. What’s the one thing you wouldn’t forget to carry? A roadmap, of course! Now, what if I told you that educating students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) can be a similar journey? And the roadmap to success? High Leverage Strategies. Intrigued? Buckle up, and let’s hit the road!


High Leverage Strategies: Your Trusty GPS

In the vast landscape of special education, High Leverage Strategies serve as your trusty GPS. These are powerful, evidence-based instructional methods that, when implemented effectively, can catalyze learning for IEP students, especially in reading.


Explicit Instruction: Clear Directions

Ever tried to navigate a tricky intersection with vague directions? Not fun, right? That’s where explicit instruction comes in—it provides clear, step-by-step directions for learning.


Take it from Mr. Brown, a seasoned first-grade teacher. His switch to explicit instruction, detailing each step, explaining concepts, and modeling tasks, worked wonders for his IEP students, who began to comprehend and enjoy reading. If you’re ready to embrace this approach, Explicit Instruction by Anita Archer and Charles Hughes is a go-to resource.


Phonics Instruction: Mapping Sounds to Letters

Imagine being in a new city, deciphering signs and directions. That’s how learning to read can feel to a child. Phonics instruction helps map sounds (phonemes) to letters (graphemes), making sense of the ‘reading city.’


Ms. Fernandez, a kindergarten teacher, introduced engaging phonics activities into her classroom, enabling her IEP students to match letters and sounds, leading to improved reading abilities. To integrate this strategy, try using Phonics Play, a fun, interactive online tool.


Phonemic Awareness Instruction: Sound Navigation

Do you remember playing ‘broken telephone’ as a child, trying to decipher and pass on the sounds you heard? Phonemic awareness is a bit like that—it’s the ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words.


Mr. Green, a second-grade teacher, used playful phonemic awareness games that helped his IEP students understand sounds in words, eventually boosting their reading skills. Websites like Reading Rockets offer a wealth of such phonemic activities.


Fluency Instruction: Smooth Highways

We all love a smooth highway drive with the right speed, rhythm, and ease, don’t we? Reading fluency is similar—it’s reading text with speed, accuracy, and proper expression.


Mrs. Davis, a third-grade teacher, introduced guided repeated oral reading strategies to foster reading fluency among her IEP students. The transformation was remarkable—her students evolved from hesitant readers to confident, expressive narrators. A great online tool to aid in this is Fluency Tutor from Texthelp.


Vocabulary Instruction: Signposts of Understanding

Imagine a roadmap without any labels. Pretty confusing, right? Vocabulary is the signpost that guides understanding in the landscape of reading.


Mr. Miller, a 5th-grade teacher, emphasizes pre-teaching vocabulary, using visuals, and teaching word analysis strategies. His IEP students’ comprehension has improved dramatically, and they’re now navigating complex texts with relative ease. Check out Vocabulary.com, an interactive platform that makes vocabulary learning fun and effective.


Progress Monitoring: Regular Pit-Stops

Just as you’d check your car’s fuel and tire pressure on a long road trip, progress monitoring is about regularly checking how our IEP students are progressing towards their goals.


Mrs. Allen, a school administrator, introduced a school-wide system of regular progress monitoring using tools like aimswebPlus. This has empowered teachers to adapt their instruction based on real-time student data, and the students can see their own growth chart, further motivating them.


The Power of Teamwork: Carpooling on the Road to Success

Educating students isn’t a solo journey—it’s a shared drive. Collaboration between teachers, parents, and other professionals can turbocharge our progress towards successful IEP outcomes.


So, are you ready to rev up your teaching engines with these high leverage strategies? With this roadmap, every IEP student’s success is within reach. Remember, the journey matters as much as the destination. So, here’s to a memorable, enriching ride on the road of learning! Happy teaching!