IEP Goal: Tracking Words in Print
Updated: Jan 2
It is important for students to learn that words go left to right, up to down, and page to page, because this is the standard reading direction in most languages, including English. When students are learning to read, it is essential that they understand the directionality of language so that they can accurately follow the sequence of words and understand the meaning of the text.
Learning to read from left to right also helps students develop important reading skills, such as tracking, which is the ability to follow the lines of text with their eyes. Good tracking skills are essential for efficient and accurate reading, and they are developed over time as students become more comfortable with the left-to-right directionality of text.
In addition to developing reading skills, learning to read from left to right also helps students with other important tasks, such as taking notes, completing math problems, and writing. Understanding the directionality of language is a fundamental skill that is important for academic success and for everyday tasks.
Students who struggle with directional tracking or foundational print concepts may need a specific goal to focus on this in the IEP.
IEP Goal for Tracking Words
Here is a sample IEP (Individualized Education Plan) goal for following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page:
Goal: After direct instruction and practice, STUDENT will demonstrate knowledge of print concepts (tracking words left to right, top to bottom, page to page) by using their finger to correctly show correct reading movement in 4 out of 5 observations.
The student will be able to follow words from left to right on a page, as demonstrated through teacher-led reading activities and independent reading.
The student will be able to follow words from top to bottom on a page, as demonstrated through teacher-led reading activities and independent reading.
The student will be able to follow words from page to page in a book, as demonstrated through teacher-led reading activities and independent reading.
The teacher will regularly observe and document the student's progress in following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
The student will participate in ongoing assessments, to measure their progress in following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
The student's progress will be shared with the student, the student's family, and other members of the IEP team on a regular basis.
Adjustments and Accommodations:
As needed, the student may receive additional support and scaffolding from the teacher and instructional staff to help them meet their goal of following words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
The student may also benefit from the use of visual or multisensory supports, such as text highlighting or manipulatives, to help them follow words from left to right, top to bottom, and page by page.
The student may need additional time and repetition to practice and master their reading skills.
Instructional Strategies for Tracking Words:
Here are some strategies you can use to teach students to track words in print from left to right, top to bottom, and page to page:
Use visual tracking cues: Use visual cues such as finger-pointing or eye gaze to help students follow the words as they read. This can help them focus their attention and keep track of where they are in the text.
Use manipulatives: Use manipulatives such as a pointer or a highlighter to help students physically track the words as they read. This can be especially helpful for students who struggle with visual tracking.
Practice with repeating texts: Begin with texts that have a consistent structure, such as rhymes or repetitive phrases. This will help students develop their tracking skills and build their confidence as they read.
Incorporate multisensory activities: Use activities that engage multiple senses, such as choral reading or finger painting, to help students internalize the tracking patterns.
Provide ongoing support and feedback: Offer students ongoing support and feedback as they practice tracking words in print. Encourage them to use the visual tracking cues and manipulatives as needed, and provide positive reinforcement for their efforts.
Gradually increase the difficulty of the texts: As students become more confident in their tracking skills, gradually increase the difficulty of the texts they are reading. This will help them continue to build their skills and eventually apply them to more challenging texts.
Check out this informal concepts of print assessment from Michigan's Mission: Literacy.
Read my blog on Directional Tracking