When I was in graduate school, I interned at a school that was already using RtI. At the time, I had not learned about RtI in graduate school, so it was all new to me. I got hands-on practice. At my internship, the speech-language pathologist was required to provide RtI groups to a couple of the Kindergarten classes. We worked on phonological awareness for the mostpart. There was a specific program that the SLP used (I cannot recall what it was). In addition, we did RtI in the classroom for vocabulary, literacy, and social skills here and there. I enjoyed going into the classrooms and teaching lessons, but the small groups that we worked with just didn't feel like the best use of our time for RtI. I know that speech-language pathologists assist with phonological awareness and beginning literacy, and the students made progress in our sessions, but I felt like we were getting more out of the classroom lessons.
When I started my second job, my school was also using RtI and had been for about three years. I asked what the previous speech-language pathologist's role in RtI was. It turned out that there were not any expectations or set role for the speech-language pathologist at the time. At first, I volunteered to assist with DIBELS testing and RtI groups, but I wasn't being used. I wanted to feel like part of the team. So, I took it upon myself to schedule whole-classroom RtI sessions for vocabulary, but there was never enough time. Finally, I decided to take it upon myself to do RtI to not only benefit my caseload, but my students. I researched 5 Minute Kids and was using that, but then I was offered to give ARtIC Lab a try. That was when the fun began!
ARtIC Lab is an evidence-based, RtI program for articulation by Super Duper Publications. It is to be used with students who are not on your caseload as well as those on your current caseload, but they have to only have one or two sound errors in articulation. First, students are brought up to your intervention team. Then, some are pre-tested to determine their eligibility for the program and which sounds they will be working on (r, s, l, sh, or ch; expansion set includes k and g; Spanish set includes flap r, trill r, s, or ch).
Once needs are determined, groups are set up of 3-5 students (no more than 5) for four 30 minute ARtIC Lab sessions a week. Each child is given a list of words with their sound in a folder at the beginning of each session as well as a tally counter. Students rotate through the following stations (the number changes depending on how many students you have in your group; you can switch up the stations each day too) using tally counters to track how many words they say each session:
- Emotions - students practice their articulation list in different tones of voice/emotions. Cards can be printed from the CD in the book.
- Gross Motor - students practice their articulation list while exercising. Cards with suggested exercises can be printed from the CD in the book.
- Listening - students listen to themselves practice their articulation list using echo mics or Webber phones.
- Building - students practice their articulation list while building (blocks, Legos, Playdoh, etc).
- Game - students practice their articulation list while playing a game. Games can be printed from the CD in the book.
- Writing - students practice their articulation list while writing or drawing the words.
- SLP Monitoring Station (1x/week) - this station allow the SLP to progress monitor each student once a week. During the rest of the week's sessions, the SLP can monitor the room and coach the students. There is a page to track progress as well as a chart that can be placed on the wall for students to see their own progress throughout the program.
Each station is recommended to last an equal amount of time (approximately 5-7 minutes a session) and the area for each one is marked by a poster (included in the kit). The ARtIC Lab comes with pretty much everything you need, but it is recommended that you also have a large space to practice in (I was lucky enough to borrow our gross motor room once a day), building materials (because they don't come with the kit), space to store the folders, a mirror, art supplies, and more. There is a Schedule that can be printed from the CD in the book to show the students the sequence of rotations. Students do not need to start in the same spot each time. At the end, students clean up and record the number of words they practiced. Then, they get a homework page (printed from the CD in the book) to bring home in their homework folder each day of the week and bring it back the next day. Once 20 hours of intervention have been completed, or if there is 75% accuracy at the sentence level, a post-test is given to determine that ARtIC Lab is complete or if the Intervention Team recommends an IEP for further intervention.
I found that my students got a significant amount of practice, came to speech on their own, enjoyed practicing at the stations, begged for their homework, and practiced their sounds in more socially appropriate situations. They also felt more independent and would get excited whenever they practiced more words than the last time or show me what they wrote/worked on. Here is a picture of what my students wrote that they liked the most about ARtIC Lab:
ARtIC Lab in our gross motor room gave students a variety of situations to practice their sounds in and move around, which my students loved! They made a lot of progress as well! There is a lot more to this program that I will be going over in a full review soon! I also cannot wait to share some of the other RtI programs that I have used on their own and in conjunction with this program as well as additional stations that I created on my own/with student recommendations! To read more about the ARtIC Lab program or watch a video of the program in use, visit Super Duper Publication's ARtIC Lab product page here.
The author of Consonantly Speaking was given the ARtIC Lab program to use with her students and review by Super Duper Publications. No other form of compensation was given.