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Reggio-Inspired Provocations- Invitations to play and learn
Using Provocations In Your Kindergarten Classroom
5 Feb, 2016. 6 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Holidays, Kindergarten Language, Kindergarten Math, Kindergarten Science, Kindergarten Social Studies, Kindergarten Writing. Posted By: Kristen Smith

Reggio-Inspired Provocations- Invitations to play and learn

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.

Using Provocations In Your Kindergarten Classroom

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.)

Kindergarten students interact with a provocation set out during guided math rotations

They loved doing this activity during our guided math rotations.Kindergarten students interact with a provocation set out during guided math rotations

While they were with me that day, we practiced naming the coins and talked about the value of each coin.

Kindergarten students practice sorting coins during guided math

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.

Kindergarten students interact with a provocation set out during guided math rotations

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.

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

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!

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

Other examples of language provocations have included retelling stations of favorite books.

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

And using manipultives to make their words for the week.

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

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.

An invitation to write valentines

They loved this!!

kindergarten students create valentines at a writing table

For Social Studies, here are some examples of provocations that went along with our unit on China.

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

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.

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

Using provocations in your kindergarten classroom

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 in your kindergarten classroom

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!

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6 Comments
  1. Thanks a lot, Kristen! You are so creative! Your ideas are amazing !!! I am eager to use them:)

  2. I’d love to know more about how you manage these, particularly at exploratory play center time. Are these optional or a required tasks? I am also interested in learning more in general about how you manage your exploratory play centers and organize your classroom with so many different materials. I love all your posts, look forward to reading them and wish I lived close enough to visit and see your classroom in action Bethany’s for sharing so much with all of us out here.

    • Joanne, I would love to tell you more. I will try to explain more in another post. Just to clarify, you want to know how I set up my classroom with centers and explorations?

  3. Jane -

    Love, love, love all of these ideas. Thanks for sharing. Wish I was in your class

  4. My previous message was supposed to say thanks, not Bethany’s. Soory about that. Sometimes auto correct is not helpful.

  5. Where did you get the magnetic display boards? Thanks for sharing.

6 Comments

  • Thanks a lot, Kristen! You are so creative! Your ideas are amazing !!! I am eager to use them:)

  • I’d love to know more about how you manage these, particularly at exploratory play center time. Are these optional or a required tasks? I am also interested in learning more in general about how you manage your exploratory play centers and organize your classroom with so many different materials. I love all your posts, look forward to reading them and wish I lived close enough to visit and see your classroom in action Bethany’s for sharing so much with all of us out here.

    • Joanne, I would love to tell you more. I will try to explain more in another post. Just to clarify, you want to know how I set up my classroom with centers and explorations?

  • Jane -

    Love, love, love all of these ideas. Thanks for sharing. Wish I was in your class

  • My previous message was supposed to say thanks, not Bethany’s. Soory about that. Sometimes auto correct is not helpful.

  • Where did you get the magnetic display boards? Thanks for sharing.

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