The goal of social-emotional learning is for students to develop five core competencies:
When equipped with these competencies, children are better prepared to socialize productively and manage their emotions. Social-emotional skills carry through into adulthood, which is why it's so important for educators to teach them from a young age.
Trauma, anxiety, and behavioral disorders can impact a child's mental health in profoundly adverse ways, more so if that child lacks one or more SEL competencies.
Some children need more time to develop social-emotional skills than others. It’s essential that you create a learning plan for these students to track their progress. Incorporating SEL goals into a behavioral IEP lets you focus your attention on a student’s most pressing needs.
Here is a list of over 100 social-emotional IEP goals curated by our experts at Positive Action to get you started.
Goal: ________ will identify and manage feelings (i.e., anger, anxiety, stress, frustration) on a daily basis with ________ frequency as measured by ________ .
Goal: ________ will identify and express feelings/strengths about self and others with ________ frequency, (independent of teacher prompts and redirections) as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will identify his level of anxiety and use a strategy to reduce his anxiety 50% of the time.
Goal: ________ will make appropriate decisions on a daily basis with ________ frequency as measured by ________ (teacher observation, checklist, anecdotal records, behavior checklist, self-evaluation, etc.).
Goal: ________ will manage conflicts on a daily basis with ________ frequency, independent of teacher support, with teacher support as measured by ________ (teacher observation, checklist, anecdotal records, behavior checklist, self evaluation, etc.).
Goal: ________ will control impulsive behavior with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will remain on task and work independently with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will follow directions given by teacher or staff or other adults with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will display productive school behavior on a daily basis with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will engage in appropriate group activity (play, academics, classroom discussion, etc.) with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will respect property of others and school property according to classroom and/or school rules with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will use appropriate behaviors while riding a vehicle (ex., bus) with ________ frequency as measured by ________.
Goal: ________ will increase conversation skills to stick to the topic at hand.
Objectives: Identify what happened first, in the middle, and last regarding a previously read story, past event, or situation.
State the main idea of the story, video, or situation 4/5 opportunities to do so.
Goal: ________ will develop social understanding skills as measured by the benchmarks listed below.
Objectives: Engage in appropriate turn-taking skills by attending to peer’s turn and waiting for one’s own turn 4/5 opportunities to do so.
Work cooperatively with peers in small group settings (ex., share materials, allow peers to share different thoughts) 4/5 opportunities to do so.
Raise their hand and wait to be called on before talking aloud in group settings 4/5 opportunities to do so.
Goal: ________ will increase social-emotional skills as measured by the benchmarks listed below.
Objectives: Identify various simple emotional states in self 4/5 opportunities to do so.
State what would be an appropriate response to a particular emotional state 4/5 opportunities to do so.
State why a person might be feeling a particular emotion 4/5 opportunities to do so.
Goal: ________ will demonstrate appropriate play skills, peer relations, cooperative learning and assertiveness with ________ (frequency) as measured by ________.
During unstructured play times, ________ will interact with peers in an appropriate manner by maintaining personal space and a respectful voice for an average 80% of intervals, measured over a two-week period.
When given scenarios of social conflicts, ________ will demonstrate problem-solving skills by identifying the problem and generating two solutions appropriate to the situation in 4/5 trials, as measured by data collection.
During recess, ________ will initiate and begin a back-and-forth conversation exchange (for example, greeting and asking about a shared interest, such as a TV show, or asking if the peer enjoys crafts/art) with one of the previously identified classmates independently with 80% success across 3 consecutive weeks.
________ will acquire two new social skills per quarter to a level of ________ % accuracy including initiating conversations with peers and adults, participating in turn-taking during structured activities and recognizing positive social interactions.
Given direct instruction and visual supports, ________ will obtain two new life skills per quarter, including bathroom and hygiene routines. He/She will perform the skill independently to a level of 70% accuracy.
________ will increase his/her social communication skills by refining four skills including requesting help and using pictures or words in order to have basic needs met 3 out of 5 opportunities to do so.
________ will increase his independent work time by completing one task with one or fewer adult prompts 3 out of 5 opportunities to do so.
________ will demonstrate the accurate use and understanding of statements and questions by increasing the accurate use of these sentence forms 4 out of 5 opportunities to do so.
In the classroom environment, ________ will utilize positive self-talk and coping strategies to handle stressful situations or work demands in which he/she manifests anxious or withdrawn behavior (i.e. putting head down, saying he/she can't do something), demonstrated by engaging in the 30-minute activity or situation in a calm and positive manner with one prompt on 2/3 occasions.
When ________ becomes upset, frustrated, or angry, he will use a self-regulation/coping strategy (movement break, deep breathing, quiet space break, deep pressure/heavy work activity, etc.) to avoid engaging in unexpected behavior, with one reminder, on 4 out of 5 opportunities, as measured by observations and documentation.
When given a frustrating situation (i.e. undesired task, demand, and/or undesired peer behavior), with one prompt ________ will utilize coping strategies (i.e. take a break, deep breaths, etc.) and return to and remain on task with a calm body and mind for a minimum of 10 minutes with an average of 95% over 8 consecutive school weeks, across all classroom environments.
________ will refrain from physical aggression (i.e. kicking, hitting, pushing, tripping) across all environments in school, for 4 consecutive weeks, with all adults and children as measured by event data.
Through the use of Self-Monitoring checklists, ________ will reduce instances of passive non-compliance (becomes purposely and increasingly distracted through ignoring tasks, demands, or staff directives) to an average of 20% of intervals or less, both across all educational environments and within each educational environment, as measured across a one week period.
________ will demonstrate the ability to recognize expected and unexpected behaviors as well as rate his own behavior as part of his self-monitoring system with 80% accuracy as compared to teacher ratings of behavior.
________ will allow themselves to be mad or frustrated without hurting 90% of observed opportunities.
If you believe that SEL will benefit your students, talk to your fellow teachers and your school’s leadership about adopting Positive Action as part of your social-skills program.
If you’d like to learn more about how Positive Action program can help your school or district contact us here.
IEP Goals and Objectives Bank (Redmond, Oregon). Retrieved from here.
National Association of Special Education Teachers. Examples of IEP Goals and Objectives: Suggestions for Students with Autism. Retrieved from here.
Rhode Island Department of Education. Examples of IEP Goals for Social and Emotional Skills and Learning. Retrieved from here.
Smithey, Ashley. IEP Goal Bank. Retrieved from here.
Social Emotional Goals. Retrieved from here.