Designing Free Choice Play Centers with Provocations

Provocations are materials or the way we present materials to create a context where the child can explore. They are an extension or a challenge to our children’s current thinking and theories. 
Teachers provide materials, media and general direction as needed but the children take the ideas where they want. The inquiry and investigation are directed by the children. The teachers observe what happens when the children come in contact with the deliberately chosen materials. 

The teacher then provides additional materials and media to expand students’ ideas and theories, that allows students to continue to test their theories for accuracy and to reflect upon their learning. The image of the child is one of competency, interested in exploration, creative and motivated to engage.
This is an excellent way to observe what children already know about a range of science topics or to watch what they can create and how they use math manipulatives. 
(also allows children to play with and explore manipulatives prior them begin introduced during math instruction)

Author: DHonegger

Debra S. Honegger has worked in multiple areas of education- both general education and special education- as teacher, consultant, administrator and instructional coach- with ages from birth through adult. However, no matter where she is or what her title, she holds a firm belief in meeting the needs of each individual child while coming together as a community of learners.

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