Teacher training workshops

Extending our commitment in the community


Reading intervention for older students ( years 3-8)

SevenPlus is a short-term reading intervention for students who are reading at least at the average reading attainment for a seven-year-old and who are behind the National Standard for their class. It assumes the students have learned most of the very early skills that are taught in the first two years, such as basic phonics and early reading strategies.

SevenPlus is easily learned by a qualified teacher. It can also be used, following training, by a paraprofessional, who receives ongoing support from a trained teacher who has had recent successful experience using SevenPlus.

SevenPlus uses a combination of direct instruction and teaching using authentic text, so that reading skills are generalised into everyday reading.

SevenPlus procedures never ask the student to read by themselves until they can read the text with complete success. Low progress readers have had enough of reading being hard and sounding hard!


• is used effectively with an individual or with a group of up to six students

• builds on the students’ strengths and addresses those areas that are underdeveloped

• is used in the classroom or as a withdrawal programme

• is learned in a short period of time

• is used for students from Year 3 to Year 8+

• uses text that has rich language that will help to build vocabulary knowledge

• is engaging and success-driven.

Stuck at Seven

All primary schools experience students who reach a seven-year-old reading level and then struggle to get past this point. In New Zealand this equates to Turquoise/Purple on the colour wheel or Levels 18–20. The students are at the limit of their decoding abilities and the increasing number of multisyllabic words presents a barrier to progress. By this point the reading fluency is also suffering. Because the text choice is limited so is the range of vocabulary that is encountered. As reading is an important way new vocabulary is learned, these students fall behind their peers in this area as well.

Progressing but still behind

Some students have taken longer to get under way with reading than many of their peers. They are now reading at least an eight-year-old level but are anywhere from one-to-four years behind the average for the class. Often the reading process is still weak. They may make strong attempts at decoding unfamiliar words; however, the decoding process may be slow and lack any systematic use of strategies. As with the group above, the fluency is poor and vocabulary development has suffered.

How SevenPlus fits into the response to intervention model

Within the Response to Intervention (RTI) model, SevenPlus can be used in different ways with varying degrees of support, depending upon the resources available and the needs of the student.

At Tier One the classroom teacher can select resources from SevenPlus to develop specific literacy skills for identified students and provide differentiated instruction within the core programme. The teacher can choose from decoding strategies, vocabulary and morphological awareness activities and fluency training techniques to suit the short-term needs of the student or students.

The decoding procedures for solving multisyllabic words can also be very helpful for pre-teaching content area words that will be problematic for students. This not only helps with the students’ understanding of the lesson, it can also, over time, add to the students’ ability to solve long words.

At Tier Two, the teacher has identified individuals who have specific reading needs that require the more intensive programme that SevenPlus offers; they are placed in an eight- week intervention. This is usually within the classroom, but may also be used for a group outside the classroom.

At Tier Three SevenPlus is used as an individualised intensive intervention. The teacher is able to devote all of her attention to the needs and moment-to-moment responses of the student While the same resources are used, instruction is more intensive and because there is only one student, the instruction is more contingent to the student’s needs.

“I have worked in classes with teachers and observed them using SevenPlus with great success. I have also recommended AVAILLL and WordLab after observing these programmes achieving literacy gains… Chuck has extensive knowledge of literacy acquisition and development and assessment; keeps up to date with new research and has been a fantastic source of support and advice on new resources and new research. I have always found his recommendations very helpful.”Rosemarie Hensley, Resource Teacher for Literacy,Burnside Primary, Christchurch

View our other workshops


Course dates

$235+gst pp

For teachers and support staff
Includes $80 worth of resources!
(morning tea and lunch supplied)

Participants will receive:

• a personalized copy of the SevenPlus manual

• 10 StoryBytes and 10 InfoBytes



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