Documents Prepared by the Hartmanns for the Teachers at Ashburn Elementary School

Ideas to be Considered in the IEP for Mark A. Hartmann
February 28, 1994


In developing an Individual Education Plan for Mark, the challenge that the educational team at Ashburn Elementary School faces is to create opportunities in which Mark can apply emerging and learned skills to real life situations. The following outline contains ideas for consideration in drafting an appropriate IEP for Mark as he finishes the second half of second grade. To be fair, there will be more questions asked in reviewing the following points than there are solutions presented. This is, therefore, a working document to help everyone involved focus on Mark, his needs, and what we have to do by way of developing a realistic, broad based IEP for him.

A. MATHEMATICS - Skills and Concepts

  1. Number Line
  2. Sets and Classification
  3. Symbol Association
  4. Place Value (Comparing value of sets and numerals)
  5. Combining Sets (Addition and inverse of addition, subtraction)

Questions: How can we teach the skills and concepts? (Pare Down)
Are we sure that the activities/skills have applicability?

B. LANGUAGE ARTS - Skills and concepts

  1. Input
    1. Sight word vocabulary
    2. Teaching association to reinforce comprehension via visual, concrete materials and examples
    3. Spelling activities - selecting or adding some vocabulary that is reinforced in real life, actual experiences/situations
  2. Output - use 'input' in developing the creation of a notebook/journal as a daily activity, supplemented with pictures and with outcome from class work on lessons


  1. Very concrete schedule with daily review and strict consistency in its implementation
  2. Activities associated with specific times - pictures used as concrete images of time
  3. Before - After; Today - Tomorrow - Yesterday


  1. 'No' taught as an alternative to acting out an unwanted behavior
  2. 'Hi' and 'Bye' sequence expanded by teachers and peers in naturally occurring settings
  3. Interactions facilitated across activities with same structure employed - i.e. initiate, model, cue, expand, explain, and reward
  4. Feelings taught as being associated with facial expressions and behaviors
  5. Communication systems identified and used to attach concrete words to feelings, behaviors, etc.
  6. Approximate eye contact for communication - turn face toward teacher/peer when spoken to

E. GENERAL SKILL BUILDING - Focus is on improving attention span and on-task productive behaviors

  1. Follows classroom directions following the other students with gestures or short verbal prompts
  2. Selects/chooses activities - build into scheduling activity
  3. Select a classmate to play or to engage in an activity on regular basis during free time, PE, art, and recess
  4. Use academic groups supervised by the teacher as opportunities for peers to volunteer to participate in activities with Mark
  5. Environmental cues such as class bells can be used and taught as signaling routine changes in activities or schedule


  1. Skills are taught in context and in all environments
  2. It is essential that Mark is taught that communication is a tool for interacting with people and that it is useful to him
  3. Signing or pointing to a communication board must be useful to Mark - then he will be motivated to learn to use syntax and vocabulary in meaningful ways
  4. New skills must be learned in the environments in which they are to be used
  5. Train in the classroom or school/community environment using natural materials Mark deals with during the day

For Example: Asking for help; Learning to say 'no'; Social greetings; Work on them every time Mark appears not to understand a direction, cannot get something re: his wants/needs, demonstrates strong negative feelings he cannot express, etc.


  1. The teacher, teaching assistant, clinician, parents, PE teacher, art teacher, and whoever else interacts with Mark should approach each element given in the example above in the same manner, thereby being as consistent as possible. To accomplish this, frequent contact to share methods and successes is required. Using skills in one setting, but not in another, should be discussed in staffing. Most importantly, very specific procedures should be outlined for all to use.
  2. In learning 'no' Mark must be allowed to refuse to do the activity for the duration of the time 'no' is being learned.
  3. Use logical outcomes of situations whenever possible.
  4. Communication is useful and necessary in itself even when not tangibly rewarded.
  5. Comprehension problems involve an inability to separate verbal and non-verbal stimuli, an inability to deal with abstraction, and an inability to process the deep structures of sentences.


Next >>