Reggio Inspired Provocations with Flowers

As a Teacher I know there are countless ways in which to implement lessons, set up provocations, encourage interests for young children, so I thought I would show some ways in which I like to set up a simple provocation. Initial set up is aesthetically pleasing to me, the adult, but I never know for sure if a provocation will be a success unless I see young people not just look at it, but actually engage.

What you see below is a clean, neat simple display for a provocation.  However, when young children’s interests are peaked and curiosity is too great, then we end up with the process, which is messy, fun, and full of insight into how a young mind acquires knowledge through environmental engagement.

If you’ve set up similar or even vastly different, yet simple provocations please share your wonderful ideas and outcomes!  I would love to read about your teaching experiences using inspiration from the Reggio Emilia Approach.

Heidi's School Pics 032  For this example of a provocation I used oil pastels and pencils for tools.

Heidi's School Pics 027  For the second example of a provocation I set out crayons and pencils.

A third idea I had is to use the mini art easels I see in the craft stores and set up a picture on each side.  Pictures area great provocations as well.

Be ready to stand in as a scribe and write word for word what your young students or children dictate to you.  A child’s own words can be a catalyst for continued  and internal interest to learn how to write and read.  Early Literacy has many layers to the strong foundation, so let’s take advantage when we can to keep building onto each layer.

Heidi's School Pics 014  You may not be able to see, but I managed to capture one or two bees on my flowers!  This would work for a provocation not simply because of the flowers, but because of the bees.  So many exciting inspirational ideas, stories and massively creative artwork can come from a simple picture! 🙂

I find that so many ideas for lessons, provocations, projects and collaborations come from watching, listening and engaging in meaningful conversation with young children.  Do you find that to be the case as well?  Please post your comments and let me know. 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Rhododendrons!

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I always forget how quickly spring flowers come and how in one blink they can be gone.  I ran outside to capture one of my favorite rhododendrons in my yard.  I don’t know the name of this one.  I love the violet color! 

If anyone has a favorite color please share! 🙂  Also, I may do a post on how I set up a fun provocation for preschool aged children using rhododendrons and other lovely flowers. 🙂

Heidi

Frosting Flowers

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Hi!  This was a gluten, dairy and potato free vanilla and chocolate cake with vanilla butter cream frosting I made about two months ago.  My parents loved it!  The blue flowers turned out, but my pink ones had troubles.  Oh, the butter cream is made with a non-hydrogenated margarine and shortening.

I think it would be fun in the future to have my students play around with frosting flowers.  I think it would be amazing to see what creations for cakes each would come up with.  I will definitely document the whole process.  I want to emphasize how deserts can be a bit less harmful to our health when we use organic and natural, for the most part, ingredients.

Any Preschool Teachers, Parents of Chefs out there that have taught young preschool aged children how to bake and decorate desserts?  I welcome your experiences, so please share if you like. 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Leraning

Gluten & Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Bars

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I made these gluten and dairy free chocolate chip bars today.  I added unsalted peanuts for a bit more texture. I simply followed the chocolate chip package directions except I substituted my own gluten free flour blend and added 1/2 tsp of xanthan gum (binder).  I also added about a 1/2 cup of almond milk because my gluten free flour blend has a lot of coconut flour in it and as a result soaks up liquid fast! 🙂

If anyone out their has a favorite recipe for gluten and diary free chocolate chip bars or cookies I would love to read about it. 🙂

Heidi

Spring plants

Heidi's School Pics 003                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I used to have a plant very similar to this purple spider wart, but the leaves were shorter.  Does anyone have a spider wart or a plant similar to this one with shorter leaves?  I would love to find the shorter leaf variety again.  (Please forgive me, I don’t know the scientific name for the plant.)

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Gluten and Diary Free Chocolate Cake

Heidi's School Pics 005                                                                                                                                            I made this gluten and diary free chocolate cake with a chocolate chip butter cream filling and a marshmallow topping with chocolate covered coconut.  I put on some yellow flowers, which are not up to my standard.  For some reason the frosting was not turning out for me that day.  😦

I liked the filling, but next time I need to make sure the sugar in the topping completely dissolves because sugar granules are not fun to chew on.

Does anyone else have good gluten, diary and potato free cake recipes they would like to share.  I would love to try more recipes!

Heidi