I start out by sending home this form for parents to fill out. I write in the name of the student and date of the IEP meeting. Then parents can write in any concerns they have in academic or functional skill areas. I try and incorporate the answers parents provide on this form into my IEP goals as much as possible. I usually send these home about 2-4 weeks before the IEP meeting (although sometimes, it is more like a week before!)
Before beginning the IEP, I draft some goals in all of my subject areas. I create a sheet that looks like this with all of the goals listed for each student. I use this as I write my IEP to indicate students' previous progress as well as their present needs. These goal sheets come in handy later for multiple other purposes as well. While presenting the IEP at the meeting to the parent, having this list of goals to discuss in front of us makes it much easier than showing them the overwhelming page on the actual IEP document itself. It is much less intimidating and good "quick reference" for parents to keep handy at home as well. I also use this as a "quick reference" sheet by storing it behind most of my data sheets in case I need to reference the exact goal.
Next, I fill out this spread sheet. I put all of our activities across the top (i.e. science, morning group, gym, etc.) and all of the IEP goals along the left hand side. I then make an "X" in a box to indicate if we will work on the goal during that activity. Once I figure out where all the Xs go, I think about how much time of each activity is spent on that goal and use this to come up with the number of minutes we will be working on each goal. I fill that in on the right hand side of the chart. This also helps my fill in my minutes grid on the IEP as well as document how many minutes of paraprofessional support are needed for each student. Once this is filled out, this is something else I bring to the meeting to present to the parents. It helps them see how we will be incorporating the goals into our daily routine.
Other things I bring with to the meeting are work samples, videos/pictures, and charted data. For videos, I usually use these to show their child being successful at following independent routines in the classroom or to show them working on a mastered academic topic. For data, I usually do not bore parents with my detailed data systems unless there is something remarkable to display (either a huge growth or huge decrease). For these instances, I will either bring the graphs up on my iPad or print them out. I do have my data available at most of my meetings in case parents request to take a look.
Once the meeting is finished, and the IEP is finalized, I go back in and make any changes to my original documents shown above. I also create my data sheets for all the goals. Since, I have one station where I work on direct instruction on most of the goals, I keep this master data sheet (seen below) stored at that station. Then, we have more specialized data sheets posted around the room at other stations as well. For instance, I may take data on science at my direct instruction station, but I have a separate (more simplified) data sheet at the science station my assistant runs so she can take data as well. Also, I post my behavioral data sheets in a central location so that they are easy to access for everyone at all points during our day.
What types of tricks do you have in store to communicate effectively with parents or make the IEP process more efficient?