Especially for IEP TIME, this is an assessment tool to determine your student's communication Present Level of Performance, Show Progress on previous goals and skills and to determine New Goals using a research based scope and sequence!  Skills are assessed in our 5 Classroom Communication Goal areas:  Wants and Needs, Sharing Opinion/Information, Greetings and Social Exchanges, Language Development and Academic Language Skills.

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5 Classroom Communication Goals

Our 5 Classroom Communication Goals are selected to address the communication skills we need to meet our psychosocial development and succeed in the academic environment. Very loosely based on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs these objectives were selected because they address motivation and needs across all settings and throughout development.

Wants & Needs

Our first goal is to help students meet their basic wants and needs. The communication demand is that students have a consistent way to ask for, and ultimately negotiate, to receive what they want and need. In order to meet this need we have to know what the student is motivated by. What are their favorite leisure activities, the important people in their lives, their favorite snacks and places to go? Many times in the academic environment we are compelled to teach academic objectives to meet educational standards. Although these are clearly important subjects, we cannot ignore students' basic wants and needs in order to allow them to feel motivated to engage with us in the first place!

Basic Social Interaction

Our second objective focuses on social interactions for our students. Our hope is that all of our students will be able to greet and engage in  basic interactions at their current level of skill. Examples of this are greetings and farewells, rote questions and responses, and simple comments. Having effective social interaction skills enables our students  to form relationships and meet their need for belonging. Good social skills will help our students find their tribe: the people who will be there when they need jobs, emotional support, and simply to have fun! Without these skills no amount of academic instruction will allow our students to become successful adults.

Expressing Opinions

OK, I know what you're thinking, do we really want our students expressing their opinions while we are trying to teach? Actually, yes we do! This objective is centered around allowing all students to be able to offer their opinion when they want to. This is particularly important when the opinion is a negative one. Obviously we would prefer not to have to engage with students who are unhappy with their current situations. Even more than our desire to not engage, is the students need to express these opinions. There's a common school of thought that self-awareness and the expression of emotion can allow a person to recenter themselves.  Being able to talk about our emotions is critical to us returning to a state of learning readiness. This ability to offer our opinion is also a corner stone of academic learning. Students learn to analyze information and situations, offer their opinions, hear the thoughts of others and consider truth and facts. For our students the first step is to simply be able to say, "I don't like that!" and then a dialogue is open for students to learn!

Developing Language Skills

This objective is probably the most obvious. The most common reason a student finds themselves in special education is that they have a significant language impairment. Language skills underlie our cognitive and social development. Students in classes for intellectual disability, behavioral challenges, and even simply dyslexia most often have language development differences. Our goal is that all of our students will have access to the means to improve their language skills to age-appropriate level with age-appropriate vocabulary, syntax (word order and length of responses) and access to core words for creative phrase and sentence generation. The Classroom Goals Grid gives the teacher a means to broadly assess a student's basic language skills. Not meant to replace the speech pathologist comprehensive evaluation, this is to simply give the teacher a basic scope and sequence of academically relevant communication skills.

Academic Language Skills

In this goal we are finally addressing specific academic vocabulary and participation. Our objective is that all students will have access to sufficient vocabulary, either through Speech or AAC, to respond, comment and question in the classroom. We want to make sure that our students have the traditional text skills,  communication symbols or speech, and access to the general messages that allow them to question, request assistance, respond consider, explain and direct activities.

Where Do the Goals Come From?


  • Classroom Communication Goals Grid:  Writeable: Download the Grid, rename and save to your computer.  Don't complete the grid online or your work will NOT be saved!  Complete the Grid for each student at IEP time to show the team the student's current status and your plan of action for the upcoming year. Next year you will be able to document progress along your journey!
  • Communication Partners who know the student well! The grid is a subjective assessment of the student's functioning, so the more team members who contribute, the more accurate the grid will reflect the student's skills!
Cover & Data Page
Wants & Needs Goals
Social Interaction Goals
Expressing Opinion Goals
Academic Goals
References Page

AAC In The Cloud 2019:  AAC & IEPs: A GPS for Communicative Competence

This is a webinar presented by Vicki for the annual online conference.  We spend about an hour talking through the Dynamic AAC Goals Grid and the Classroom Communication Goals Grid.  This was a great conference with some wonderful presentations which you can still access, and still receive continuing education credit!  

Check it out HERE!  

AAC Classroom:  The Forms

You're all in on using the Classroom Communication Project Tools, but you need a little more specific information on how to do it.  This webinar introduces the entire Classroom Communication Project and walks you through completing the integrated forms.  60 minutes to bring it all together!

Using the Classroom Communication Goals Grid to Prep for AAC Assessment

The student is not meeting their needs to communicate using their natural speech, or the communication supports they have available right now. Let's take a look at how they communicate currently and make a plan for assessing new skills and potential use of new AAC supports!


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