8 Comments

  1. jennifer trydal

    This post was so timely for me. I have been on this Reggio journey for a few years now. However, I live in a Northern Alberta town where I’m lucky if anyone has even heard of this type of learning; much less taken on making it real. This is the first year I have abandoned ‘letter of the day’ and phonics programs in search of a more authentic was to teach the alphabet (or I guess a more authentic way for students to explore the alphabet). But, as the year comes closer to the end, I still have so many kiddos struggling with alphabet recognition and I feel the pressure to fall back to the old ways. What do you do when your kids struggle and time is running out. I’m still only a 2 day/week program as well; time is always the enemy!

    • mbe543@mail.usask.ca

      Oh Jennifer! I have been there. I think you’re being too hard on yourself. It’s easy for us to blame ourselves when children don’t know their alphabet by the end of the year. However, it’s just not always the case. And no matter if you were their teacher or someone else was, they might not know them either. I just had this conversation with another teacher this afternoon. We each have a couple kids that need a little extra support. For those kids, maybe a more explicit teaching method is the way to help them. Can you possibly have a small group where you focus on alphabet awareness as the other children work through invitations? You could set up a “teacher-directed” invitation where you guide them to write alphabet letters in shaving cream, or create them with loose parts.
      I’m always feeling with an every other day program that I don’t have enough time to get through all the things I want or even need to.
      Hope this helps a bit. I’d love to chat more!

  2. Leah Copland

    With these invitations, how do you guide or ensure that the students are using the items as intended? When I’ve put out loose parts and invitations or provocations, my students often revert to building swords or cars or something that is not what I envisioned or hoped. I’m just beginning my journey and am having difficulty with this aspect. I see in some of the photos above, your invitations use manipulates such as wooden blocks or straws and connectors to form letters. In my classroom, when my teaching partner and I put out invitations or provocations such as that, the children often become silly and make weapons or something that isn’t at all what we intended. I’m sure that you begin small, and I hope to do that next year, but would love some advice about how to guide or pique the interest of my students to be ‘structured’ enough to use materials and prompts as they are ‘intended’.

    Thank you!

    • D

      Do these provocations for the first time in small guided groups of 5. Ask questions such as “what do you think these are for?” You’ll see that once they understand what the items are for, they will use it as intended. Then let them work on it uninterrupted and your role will be just to observe and take anecdotal notes. Some children might need a bit more guidance but in no case dictate on how it should be done.

      I group my children according to colour and work with them on provocations that are a bit more complex. New activities, mostly with young ones or second language learners, will need to be guided before they can further explore themselves.

  3. Leah Copland

    With these invitations, how do you guide or ensure that the students are using the items as intended? When I’ve put out loose parts and invitations or provocations, my students often revert to building swords or cars or something that is not what I envisioned or hoped. I’m just beginning my journey and am having difficulty with this aspect. I see in some of the photos above, your invitations use manipulates such as wooden blocks or straws and connectors to form letters. In my classroom, when my teaching partner and I put out invitations or provocations such as that, the children often become silly and make weapons or something that isn’t at all what we intended. I’m sure that you begin small, and I hope to do that next year, but would love some advice about how to guide or pique the interest of my students to be ‘structured’ enough to use materials and prompts as they are ‘intended’.

    Thank you!

    • mbe543@mail.usask.ca

      I do some pre-teaching when I set up a new invitation to “teach” the children how to play with the materials. I then get a child (usually one that can be rowdy during this time), to show us how he/she can play with the materials. I commentate the play pointing out the learning that’s happening. It works really well!

      Happy teaching this fall!

  4. K A

    Where did you find those amazing wooden letters in the case? Our staff has been trying to track them down. Thank you 🙂

    • mbe543@mail.usask.ca

      I actually got them at Dollarama! They have some really good options for wooden alphabet letters! The larger ones are from there as well!

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