top of page
  • Mrs G

3 Ways to take Data on Social Skills IEP Goals

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Social skills IEP goals require taking regular data. Thank goodness! Yes, you read that correctly! This is the one area where I truly appreciate the bi-weekly reminder to document my student’s growth. In fact, taking data in the area of social skills is important (and often overlooked) when it comes to every single student in your classroom, whether or not they have a social skills goal on their IEP.

Collect data on existing social skills IEP goals or use goals from a social skills IEP goals bank. You can even work with students to create SMART goals. Allowing your students to be a part of the process will lead to a classroom of learners who understand their own behaviors. Students who understand where they have the most challenges can become a part of the resolution.

Students advocating for their own needs, suggesting accommodations, and taking ownership of their learning are some of the results I have had in my classroom after incorporating social skills for kids and taking data on their progress.

When you are planning activities for social skills groups be sure to include a strategy for taking data. There are so many ways to take data on social skills IEP goals. Here are my top three.

1. Formally observe your Students:

  • Note the environment, time of day, people present, and activity. I have found that it helps to have a form that you can use across settings for consistency.

  • Observe for no more than ten minutes with the lens of only one social goal at a time.

  • Depending on the skill you are observing it may be appropriate to choose a control student. This is another student in the same setting whose behaviors you will also note. This way when you are looking at the student’s data over time you will have the option to compare your student to themselves as well as with a peer.

  • Rely on the team! I send para-educators in with observation forms as well as general education teachers, specialists, or administrators. I want as much data as I can have on my students and each team member will offer a slightly different perspective.

  • Be sure to complete the observations across settings, including those where your student is successful. These can be powerful tools in learning what your student needs to perform at their highest capability.

2. Behavior Reflection:

  • Following an incident of unexpected behavior, you need social skills data collection forms. Students can draw, talk, or use a think sheet to have the student explain what happened. (Read more details about how to use a Behavior Reflection Sheet here.) Documenting an incident immediately after will provide you and the student with the most insight. Don’t miss this opportunity.

  • Keep the data forms! You will notice patterns that precede certain behaviors and can put interventions in place.

  • As a bonus, the student’s own account of the incident will highlight gaps in their understanding. You can use this information to create your activities for social skills groups that address the very specific skills needed by each of your students.

3. Student Conference:

  • Have your student complete a self-reflection assessment or create a SMART goal in the area of behavior.

  • Ask the student to suggest accommodations or modifications that they feel will make them more successful. Have them choose from a list if needed.

  • Create a way for the student to track their own progress. This could be a simple graph or a goal-setting journal they return to time and again.

  • Set up a follow-up meeting time to check in on growth and make adjustments. Knowing this meeting is already scheduled will help students become more accountable for their goals.

How this looks in my classroom

I use the first ten minutes of my day as a time to check in and reflect with students on social skills IEP goals. We plan activities for social skills groups that lend themselves to data collection. Then, the last ten minutes of the day are dedicated to the student completing a self-reflection form and rating their own progress. Knowing that developing social skills for kids will impact your students’ lives beyond the walls of your classroom makes it worth finding the time to track social skills data.

Don’t overlook data in the area of social skills and behavior. It can have the biggest impact on student learning!


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page