IEP Goals Integrated into Holiday Activities

Holiday cheer is on display at the Education Center Sewickley, a Watson Institute special education school! Throughout the month, children with special needs in Watson’s schools have participated in various holiday-themed activities and projects which also help them work towards educational, social, and mobility goals as outlined in their IEPs (Individualized Education Plan).

At the Watson Institute, IEP goal work is incorporated into as many activities and classroom projects as possible.

Megan Megrey, a special education teacher at the Education Center Sewickley, got her students into the holiday spirit during a recent physical and occupational therapy group session. In Megan’s classroom, students range in age from 3 to 6 years old and have a variety of special needs such as cerebral palsy, neurological impairments, and Cortical Visual Impairment (CVI). Each student in the class has individualized goals which are addressed during both one-on-one therapy sessions and also during group therapy.

“It’s important to schedule the students’ IEP goal work into daily activities. They will not only get consistent repetition, but it will be carried through across a variety of settings both at home and in school which sets them up for the most success!” shared Megan.

This holiday-themed therapy session with therapists, Deb (OT) and Katie (PT) involved IEP goal work for the children with special needs as they painted and decorated a festive holiday sleigh made from a cardboard box. Students first painted the sleigh red, an activity which involved grasping the paintbrush, identifying the correct color to use, and practicing visually guided reach.

Once the sleigh was completed, students dressed up in Santa gear and took turns riding in the sleigh throughout the hallways of the Education Center. Students used a switch to activate the song, “Jingle Bells” so it would play as they rode through the halls. Using a switch also helps students work on IEP goals and is often incorporated into daily classroom activities.

Check out our YouTube video which shows the children in Megan’s classroom working on both their holiday sleigh and their IEP goals!

Winter Sunshine by Nicolai Heidlas |
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