I have been using a lot of Reggio-inspired practices this year in my classroom and am so very happy with the results that I am seeing. One aspect that I am particularly pleased with is using provocations.
I’ve written about provocations before but wanted to touch on them again. (You can read about rock provocations here and ocean provocations here.) In case you are unfamiliar with the term “provocation” a provocation is when you set up materials in a provoking way. You can use anything that you have! Your intention is to get your students or child to interact with the materials in a new way.
In my classroom, I use this method often! In fact, I almost daily have a new provocation set up for my students. I have found that in setting up a provocation, my students are more inclined to engage in an activity or material than they would if it was just on a shelf.
For example, the other day I was introducing coins to my students. When they walked in, this provocation was set up for them to explore.
Without much guidance, my students got to work scooping out coins and sorting them into the correct muffin tins. (I set up a control of error in that each muffin tin had a sticker of a coin stuck on the inside.)
They loved doing this activity during our guided math rotations.
While they were with me that day, we practiced naming the coins and talked about the value of each coin.
By including the provocation in my rotations, it allowed my students to work on the concepts they were learning in a hands-on and fun way. They used so many great math words while scooping and sorting.
When I use provocations during my rotations, my “rule” is that students clean up provocations and set them back up the way that they found it so that it is ready for the next group of children.
I also use provocations during guided reading rotations. This was one that we did last week.
Each cup had a word on it that my students could read. They included words with two vowels, one vowel, and sight words. In order to stack a cup, the students had to be able to read the words. They worked together to make awesome towers and structures!
Other examples of language provocations have included retelling stations of favorite books.
And using manipultives to make their words for the week.
I have also used provocations for writing activities! This was a writing stations set up to invite students to create valentines for their loved ones.
They loved this!!
For Social Studies, here are some examples of provocations that went along with our unit on China.
In Science, it is so much fun to set out something that students have found outside along with magnifying glasses or art supplies to see what students will come up with! During our light unit, my students created an amazing light mobile out of a stick they had found during recess.
You can read more about this activity here!
I also love setting up provocations at our light table! This one invited children to create snowflakes out of different loose parts. (transparent 2-D shapes and glass mosiac tiles)
Using provocations has been a great way to increase engagement and excitement about activities in my classroom. You can use anything for them and it is so neat to see what students do with the activities!