Print

bird feather shells beachAn Activity and Goal Matrix can help you evaluate whether or not your planned activities provide a focus on the student’s IEP goals. It can help ensure there are ample opportunities in all activities to work on these goals. Infusing skill-building opportunities throughout the day and in a variety of environments is very important. In Active Learning, almost any activity can be engineered to provide opportunities to work on almost every IEP goal.

The example we include is only meant to illustrate an Active Learning approach that clearly focuses on the student’s IEP goals. In this example the student’s peers are learning about the ocean and animals that live in the ocean for their science class. We imagine that the teacher might share a number of stories in circle time about the beach and ocean with her students. This topic can be related to both reading and science goals.  She might select materials to use that could be found at the beach or perhaps have the characteristic of either sinking or floating.

Additionally gross and fine motor skills such as strengthening legs, arms, and fingers, learning to intentionally grasp and release, and cross midline are supported in multiple activities. 

Developing better sensory efficiency skills (touch, taste, hearing, and smell) are also worked on throughout the day.

Although finger-painting with food is an activity primarily focused on developing finger strength and crossing midline, the child may choose to explore the taste, smell, and texture of various pureed fruits and vegetables. The student might also choose to dip his feet into the goo, or lick it with his tongue.

Certain caregiving activities and events occur every day such as travel to and from the bus, toileting, and eating snacks and meals. These also provide opportunities to work on both learned and emerging skills if the adult supporting the student uses the appropriate phase of educational treatment (for example: offering, imitation, interaction).

Social skills are learned using morning greeting and departing rituals and during interaction with adults in specific activities and with others informally.

Self-regulation and reduction of stress are supported by a full and predictable schedule. 

The Activity and Goal Matrix can also work as a lesson plan for the teacher. If shared with the student’s team, related service staff may consider whether or not some of the unit themes can be brought into specific activities they may be undertaking with the student.  For example, taking a walk to the sandbox or to explore grasses and plants outside during an orientation and mobility lesson.

The Activity and Goal Matrix is copied each week with only slight changes in the activities.  For example, if the following week was focused on ocean tides, small drink containers with screw caps that are filled with different materials such as uncooked macaroni, sand, pebbles would float at different levels. They would also produce different sounds if shaken or rolled. A tipping tray filled with objects that roll back and forth can be related to the motion of the waves and tide. Playing in a tray of sand, water and shells can work on finger strength. The student could listen to sailing songs, sounds of the beach, or calls of seabirds.

Students with significant and multiple disabilities require highly individualized instruction. Utilizing strategies like an Activity and Goal Matrix can help the entire team to plan a full day of study for the student who needs an Active Learning approach. It also helps the team think about how to bring in general content that aligns with the content being learned by peers. Additionally it allows for critical expanded core curriculum skills to be included daily.

Note: Dr. Nielsen recommends alternating between Gross and Fine Motor activities throughout the day.  Some activities can include both types of motor activities. On any given day, the teacher may want to vary the order of some activities while some will stay the same day-to-day (toileting, eating lunch).

Day 1

Activity

Goal – Gross Motor

Goal – Fine Motor

Goal - Communication

Goal – Reading & Science

Goal - Feeding

Use legs and feet to explore surfaces in various positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

Cross mid-line left to right and right to left to reach and grasp objects.

Take a turn in an adult-child interaction.

Explore objects using various senses (touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing) when offered by an adult.

Use a spoon and palmar grasp to scoop and bring food to his mouth.

Travel from bus and greet staff / peers

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Exploring objects offered during circle time and vocalizing with songs

x

x

x

x

 

Eating a snack

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Playing in HOPSA dress (objects on it) hung from hook in ceiling with bins of sand, water, towels, pebbles underfoot

x

x

 

x

 

Reading experience books with adult – trip to the beach

 

x

x

x

 

Finger-painting and playing with spoons in banana pudding.

 

x

 

 

x

Eating lunch

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting and brushing teeth

x

x

x

x

x – similar grasp to hold toothbrush

Swinging a hammock swing with ESSEF board and stand at feet various graspable items attached to hammock and things that make noise on Board.

x

x

 

 

 

Playing with an adult on the Resonance Board with various materials.

x

x

x

x

x

Rest time listening to songs and recorded stories and vocalizing

x- if stories or songs are activated by switches placed by feet

x- if stories/songs are activated by student using switches or other materials

 

x

 

Taking a walk to the trampoline or outside.

x

x

x

x

 

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Travel to bus and leave for the day

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Day 2

Activity

Goal – Gross Motor

Goal – Fine Motor

Goal - Communication

Goal – Reading & Science

Goal - Feeding

Use legs and feet to explore surfaces in various positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

Cross mid-line left to right and right to left to reach and grasp objects.

Take a turn in an adult-child interaction.

Explore objects using various senses (touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing) when offered by an adult.

Use a spoon and palmar grasp to scoop and bring food to his mouth.

Travel from bus and greet staff / peers

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Exploring objects offered during circle time and vocalizing with songs

x

x

x

x

 

Eating a snack

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Playing in HOPSA dress (objects on it) hung from hook in ceiling with pebbles, bubbling foot massager, towels underneath

x

x

 

x

 

Reading experience books with adult – Trip to the beach

 

x

x

x

 

Finger- or foot-painting and playing with spoons in applesauce and oats.

x

x

 

 

x

Eating lunch

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting and brushing teeth

x

x

x

x

x – similar grasp to hold toothbrush

Swinging a hammock swing with ESSEF board and stand at feet various graspable items attached to hammock and things that make noise on Board.

x

x

 

x

 

Playing with an adult on the Resonance Board with various materials.

x

x

x

x

x

Rest time listening to songs and recorded stories and vocalizing

 x- if stories or songs are activated by switches placed by feet

x- if stories/songs are activated by student using switches or other materials

 

x

 

Taking a walk to the trampoline or outside

x

x

x

x

 

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Travel to bus and leave for the day

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Day 3

Activity

Goal – Gross Motor

Goal – Fine Motor

Goal - Communication

Goal – Reading & Science

Goal - Feeding

Use legs and feet to explore surfaces in various positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

Cross mid-line left to right and right to left to reach and grasp objects.

Take a turn in an adult-child interaction.

Explore objects using various senses (touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing) when offered by an adult.

Use a spoon and palmar grasp to scoop and bring food to his mouth.

Travel from bus and greet staff / peers

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Exploring objects offered during circle time and vocalizing with songs

x

x

x

x

 

Eating a snack

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Playing in HOPSA dress (objects on it) hung from hook in ceiling playing in wading pool with objects that float (small pieces wood, arm floats, fishing corks) and sink (pebbles, starfish/sand dollars)

x

x

 

x

 

Reading experience books with adult – Trip to the Beach

 

x

x

x

 

Playing in Kenetic Sand with sand pail, shovel, seashells, stones, and pieces of drift wood.

x

x

x

x

x

Eating lunch

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting and brushing teeth

x

x

x

x

x – similar grasp to hold toothbrush

Swinging a hammock swing with ESSEF board and stand at feet various graspable items attached to hammock and things that make noise on Board.

x

x

 

x

 

Playing with an adult on the Resonance Board with various materials.

x

x

x

x

 

Rest time listening to songs and recorded stories and vocalizing

 x- if stories or songs are activated by switches placed by feet

x- if stories/songs are activated by student using switches or other materials

 

x

 

Taking a walk to the trampoline or outside

x

x

x

x

 

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Travel to bus and leave for the day

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

 Day 4

Activity

Goal – Gross Motor

Goal – Fine Motor

Goal - Communication

Goal – Reading & Science

Goal - Feeding

Use legs and feet to explore surfaces in various positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

Cross mid-line left to right and right to left to reach and grasp objects.

Take a turn in an adult-child interaction.

Explore objects using various senses (touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing) when offered by an adult.

Use a spoon and palmar grasp to scoop and bring food to his mouth.

Travel from bus and greet staff / peers

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Exploring objects offered during circle time and vocalizing with songs

x

x

x

x

 

Eating a snack

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Playing in HOPSA dress (objects on it) hung from hook in ceiling with trays of grass sod, shells, sand underfoot

x

x

 

 

 

Reading experience books with adult

 

x

x

x

 

Finger-painting and playing with spoons in cool instant mashed potatoes and potato chips or chopped herbs.

 

x

 

x

x

Eating lunch

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting and brushing teeth

x

x

x

x

x – similar grasp to hold toothbrush

Swinging a hammock swing with ESSEF board and stand at feet various graspable items attached to hammock and things that make noise on Board.

x

x

 

x

 

Playing with an adult on the Resonance Board with various materials.

x

x

x

x

 

Rest time listening to songs and recorded stories and vocalizing

 x- if stories or songs are activated by switches placed by feet

x- if stories/songs are activated by student using switches or other materials

 

x

 

Taking a walk to the trampoline or outside

x

x

x

x

 

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Travel to bus and leave for the day

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

 Day 5

Activity

Goal – Gross Motor

Goal – Fine Motor

Goal - Communication

Goal – Reading & Science

Goal - Feeding

Use legs and feet to explore surfaces in various positions (lying down, sitting, standing).

Cross mid-line left to right and right to left to reach and grasp objects.

Take a turn in an adult-child interaction.

Explore objects using various senses (touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing) when offered by an adult.

Use a spoon and palmar grasp to scoop and bring food to his mouth.

Travel from bus and greet staff / peers

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x

 

 

Exploring objects offered during circle time and vocalizing with songs

x

x

x

x

 

Eating a snack

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Playing in HOPSA dress (objects on it) and track with bins underfoot tray of corks, sand, pebbles.

x

x

 

x

 

Reading experience books with adult

 

x

x

x

 

Finger-painting and playing with spoons in mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin.

 

x

 

x

x

Eating lunch

 

x

x

x

x

Toileting and brushing teeth

x

x

x

x

x – similar grasp to hold toothbrush

Swinging a hammock swing with ESSEF board and stand at feet various graspable items attached to hammock and things that make noise on Board.

x

x

 

x

 

Playing with an adult on the Resonance Board with various materials.

x

x

x

x

x – if working on scooping with items

Rest time listening to songs and recorded stories and vocalizing

 x- if stories or songs are activated by switches placed by feet

x- if stories/songs are activated by student using switches or other materials

 

x

 

Taking a walk to the trampoline or outside

x

x

x

x

 

Toileting

x

x

x

x

 

Travel to bus and leave for the day

x

x-  (activity boards on hallway walls or tactile symbols and landmarks)

x