How I Use John Hattie to Create Interventions?

I have come to love John Hattie's work on student achievement. It makes creating small group interventions super easy and effective.  Its a resource a have come to use more and more as my budget gets smaller and helps me create something super specific to meet the needs of my ever-changing students with ease.

John Hattie has done the heavy lifting--researching some 200 influences on student achievement. The key is to look for ideas and not get caught up in the everything. You're looking for ideas that have been found to have the greatest effect size (the closer to 1 the better)

When I use Hattie to create interventions, I keep a couple of ideas in mind. I keep the ideas from Hattie to no more than 5, the intervention to 6 to 8 weeks, and very specific data collection.

Welcome to my Classroom

Here's a view of how I created an intervention to meet sight word and reading fluency goals.

Ideas from Hattie:

  • Direct Instruction
  • Feedback
  • Repeated Reading
  • Goals

These 4 influences play different roles in my intervention. Direct Instruction comes from SRA's Reading Mastery--this is the backbone of my instruction (bonus here is its research-based). Goals are set in two different ways-1) learning targets are a building requirement and 2) everyone set a SMART goal for sight words and reading fluency before the intervention started.

The nature of Reading Mastery is the immediate and actionable feedback is a lesson given but where does it come for sight words and reading fluency. For both, it is tied to repeated readings. After cold reads, students practice with an adult model before being timed each day.


This intervention is only set for six weeks. Why? It's long enough to make a couple of changes but short enough not to let half the year go by without seeing if its closing gaps.

Data Collection:

This intervention has four data points. Some data is collected daily and others once a week.

Sight word data is collected daily--as a repeated reading and as an exit ticket. The exit ticket words are reviewed weekly to see if students are progressing towards their goal.

Sight word data is also collected when they play games to see what carryover looks like.

Goal Line is IEP goal not the student set goal.

I also do trendlines more for me than my students. But having everything in graphs means I can look at it and see if they are moving up or if I need to change things up.

I also collect reading fluency data. The grade level data is graphed. The repeated reading data is kept in their binders as they collect it and maintain the data.  These goal lines make sense as they are working toward IEP goals.

I have all this data now what?


Reflect on the positives. Look at what needs to be changed.

Often you don't need to toss out the whole kitchen sink when putting the trashing the bin will work.

This intervention has at least 5 more weeks before it ends. Which gives me time to change things up if I need to.

Repeated Reading tell me if a student needs to spend more time with specific sight words. The same is true with the repeated readings they do with sight word heavy decodable text--if it needs to be more challenging.

Or if I need to look at an error analysis to see what changes need to be made to the overall intervention.

I'd love to hear how you set up your small group interventions. Where are your successes? Where do you need some help? I'd love to hear about your interventions.

Chat soon,


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Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I empower busy elementary special education teachers to use best practice strategies to achieve a data and evidence driven classroom community by sharing easy to use, engaging, unique approaches to small group reading and math. Thanks for Hopping By.
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