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  • Mrs G

Measurable Goals for Reading Comprehension

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

It seems impossible to find an example IEP with measurable goals for reading comprehension that is done to perfection. Teaching students with different learning abilities and finding life skills curricula for special needs students are challenging tasks. But, it was writing goals for my students with special needs with somewhat limited IEP training for teachers that blew my mind in my first few years in the classroom.



Before my time in the classroom, I spent a few years at a non-profit.


I was reading IEP information for parents who needed assistance. I noticed that many of the goals written for reading comprehension were either vague or huge. How could I measure them? What instructional strategies could I use to help my kiddos reach their goals? What constituted a complete comprehension response?


Then, I spent a few years on the other side of the coin in the special education classroom writing reading comprehension goals for students, delivering direct instruction for students with disabilities, and developing strategies for teaching learners with special needs. Finally, I discovered that writing an IEP with measurable goals for reading comprehension is exactly as challenging as it seemed in those early days at the non-profit.


I love teaching reading comprehension to students with special needs. It is a passion of mine. And I created an entire line of reading comprehension resources for special education students.

So, I wanted to share my example of measurable goals for reading comprehension and some tips for writing them. Most importantly, my hope is that I can make one less teacher’s head explode.


3 Tips for writing Measurable Reading Comprehension Goals

  1. Be specific about what you are measuring: Will your student read the passage aloud, listen to the passage or read it to themselves? Is there a time limit? Are the comprehension questions going to be asked verbally or will the student read them? Will the student be one on one with a teacher or in a small group? Each of these details will impact the data.

  2. Know the present level of performance: Make sure your goals are realistic for the student in front of you. Automatically writing goals for 80% proficiency is not the best option.

  3. Measure the small skills: Within the big idea of reading comprehension, there are a ton of tiny skills! Breaking down your IEP goal into micro-skills makes it WAY easier to assess.



Here are three example IEP measurable goals for reading comprehension that I use as a template to develop more individualized goals for my students.

Goals for Reading Comprehension

ONE: Given a written passage at a X grade level and written comprehension questions beginning with who, what, when, or where, student will read the passage and questions silently and verbally respond to the comprehension questions with 80% accuracy in 4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher collected data.

TWO: Presented with a one-page story written at a X grade level and a verbal prompt to identify the effect of a specific action, student will read the story and provide a written response to the verbal prompt identifying the effect of a specific action with 80% accuracy in 4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher collected data.

THREE: After listening to a narrated story at a X grade level in a one-to-one setting, student will verbally summarize and explain the sequence of events from the story with 80% accuracy in 4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher collected data.


3 Free Resources

Teaching life skills reading comprehension is my jam! (Although, I love a good social skills group too!). I love it. And I create resources to help me do it. Even more, I want YOU to try them for Free. Download them by clicking the links below!


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