by Anke Cadoni


It was very difficult for me to find a child in my group for the first practical task (in the IHVO Certificate Course), as I actually don’t suspect any of my kindergarten children to be gifted.

I finally decided in favour of Jonas because I had often noticed him as „special“ since he joined the kindergarten. He has been in my group for over a year and is now 4 years, 2 months old. From the beginning he has shown a very strong will of his own, he knows exactly what he wants. He’s more advanced in many ways than his peer friends.

His development is very good in all areas, it is relatively easy for him to learn and to perceive the things around him. I think that he is also very talented in some areas, perhaps also above average.

In any case, he is a child that I should keep a close eye on in order to prevent understrain.

… in a nutshell …

The kindergarten teacher must select a gifted child for a further education task. She is uncertain and it also remains uncertain whether Jonas has high talents. Through her observations she tries to track down the child’s talents in order to avoid an underchallenge.

The following references to a possible giftedness are most likely to apply to Jonas:

(According to the Indicators of Possible Intellectual Giftedness).

    • Jonas likes to play with older children and can also be very active on his own.
    • He shows great perseverance, enthusiasm and resilience in tasks he has set himself, for example difficult puzzles.
    • He has good observation skills and a distinct sense of justice.
    • I also see an early urge for self-control and self-determination. He has a strong will of his own.
    • I also notice complex trains of thought and a differentiated language in Jonas.
    • For me, idiosyncratic learning strategies show themselves in the fact that he has certain ideas about how he handles something – and there he does not allow himself to be perplexed by anyone.

Spontaneous observations (from memory)

Jonas dressed and undressed himself independently as soon as he entered kindergarten. He never let himself be helped, even if it took him a little longer – but he always managed to do it, except to close the jacket. To close the jacket alone was his big goal from then on. After about a month this also worked.

He is very individual up to stubbornness, in a positive sense.

He has his own strong views. He always has clear opinions and answers to questions or requests.

He’s more likely to overtax himself than to be underchallenged. From the beginning, he has always chosen games and puzzles that were not „age-appropriate“. Often it was puzzles or number games with which preschool children still had difficulties.

He didn’t always succeed in everything immediately, but then he got help on his own or tried it until it finally worked. Some games were played daily until they were fluent.

So he is an „autonomous learner“ who likes to organize his learning processes well himself. This learning is often particularly effective if it is accompanied by empathetic support and impulses from adults.

Jonas has a very pronounced vocabulary. He likes to talk about experiences, often very spontaneously and with a lot of joy. It is fun to listen to him!

Current observations to get a clearer picture of his abilities and talents

At the moment Jonas is busy with letters. Now he can write his name almost completely independently and would like to learn now still „Mama“ (Mom) and „Papa“ (Dad) and further words. He takes the initiative and gets help only rarely.

Without any problems he cuts already difficult templates with scissors without deviating from the line. Here, I think, he also notices well that he has something ahead of the others at his age, they often still tingle.

Jonas has complex trains of thought! For example, when I was in the process of creating a picture book with him, in which he had also glued folding work, he was in the process of painting a picture for it. The painting depicted an island on which a luminous lamp was placed. Jonas spontaneously said to me:

„Mrs. Cadoni, now I fold a windmill that produces the electricity for the light and the heating and glue it to the island.“

See: Jonas (5;3) Makes Another Picture Book and Screens Paper

With him a boy of the same age enrolled in the kindergarten. Everyone thought (especially the parents) that the two could play beautifully together. But it soon turned out that this boy is not a playing partner for Jonas. At first Jonas played a lot on his own and meanwhile he orientates himself on older children.

Jonas is painting a picture of the weather. Another boy sits next to him and looks at his picture. Jonas begins to explain his picture: „Here’s the sun, and there’s thunder and lightning.“

Then the boy next to Jonas asks: „Why is the sun so dark?“
Jonas: „I know why the sun colors itself: because it is far away. I have a book about it, also about thunder and lightning and how electricity is created.

Here his interest in logical contexts and scientific processes shows itself in rudiments. He is very inquisitive and shows great joy in storing and processing information. Jonas also gets a good knowledge transfer from home and good literature suitable for children is paid attention to.

In another situation I explained to Felix how to glue the Easter basket. Jonas already sat at the table and painted another picture. When it was Jonas‘ turn to make his Easter nest, I wanted to explain to him how it works, but he said:

„I just heard that, I already know everything, Mrs. Cadoni!“

This observation reflects his quick perception and curiosity. Although he was busy with other things, he listened well and immediately understood the new procedure and was able to apply it right away. His eyes and ears are always open for new things.

If you ask Jonas to do a certain thing, which you seldom have to do with him, because he is usually well and dedicatedly busy, he often contradicts or refuses. He then often works without concentration, reluctantly or listlessly.

Perhaps he needs these remaining times, in which he is not visibly active, to think, to feel or simply to enjoy leisure. Or he is sometimes not so well on it and wants to have his peace and quiet.

Eric is overwhelmed with the tingling or has no more desire to continue. Jonas comes along and immediately recognizes Eric’s problem. He says: „I can cut that out for you if you want!“

Jonas has a fine sensorium for the sensitivities of others. He is then happy to offer his help. He often notices when children are not doing so well or when they need help.

He shows a fascination for all kinds of experiments.

Jonas has a particularly good ability to observe and perceive.

He can reproduce experiments carried out in the morning circle well linguistically and so clearly that children who have missed can understand the process well. Jonas explained an experiment even though he was not present during the execution. He dares a lot!

Jonas has a large vocabulary. He expresses himself well linguistically and often speaks grammatically correct and confidently.

Jonas likes to seek contact with older children and adults. It annoys him very much when younger children or children of the same age disturb his plans. Jonas doesn’t discuss or quarrel with the children, but looks for another place to play.

Jonas shows me a feather he has found. I ask him which bird it could be from. He says: „From a dove perhaps? I’ll take it home with me!
Jonas’s answer was indeed true.

I ask three children to clean up the doll’s corner because I know that they had played there before. But I don’t mention Jonas. He comes to me a short time later and says:

„I also played up here and have to clean up!“

This shows his strong sense of justice. I don’t think he could stand it very well for himself if he wouldn’t help in this situation now.

Jonas is often very sensitive, especially when it comes to criticizing his actions or behavior.

„Draw still the hands, otherwise the Easter bunny cannot pick up the eggs!“ says Jonas to Sven, who forgot to paint the paws.
Here one recognizes the mental connections of Jonas: without hands/paws one can pick up nothing.

Jonas tells me this morning that he can now ride the large bike without training wheels, he seems very proud.
He always saw the big boys riding bicycles outside, and it annoyed him that he couldn’t yet ride without training wheels. Jonas often makes very high demands on himself. Now he is so happy that it finally works.

Jonas often comes up to me and then wants very specific things from me. Lately I’ve been evermore asked to fold him an airplane. He also sets himself targeted and well-considered tasks: Today he wanted to paint an Easter egg. Or he asks for certain materials / things that he needs for the implementation of his plans.

Jonas is very creative. He wants to carry out his planned activities as independently as possible. He shows an extraordinary inventiveness in the use of everyday materials.

However, he refuses to fold paper planes himself. I think he watches as long as I do it, until he is sure how it works – and then he folds it alone.

One of our toilet flushes is defective. Jonas notices this and thinks that his father could repair it. When his mother picks him up at noon, he immediately shows her the defective thing and asks her for advice: „Can Daddy do it?“
Jonas can transfer what he has learned well to other situations. His father is a plumber, and he’s probably already noticed how he repaired a flush. Jonas remembers many things and can think and imagine many things well.

Jonas and Felix play in the building corner. Jonas builds a football stadium. He says: „Swim twice more, then I will play with the Bambinis! (the youngest players in soccer clubs)“
Jonas knows exactly how long it will take. He likes to deal with numbers and uses them accordingly.

Jonas sets a campfire with woods, Eric and Sven help.

Jonas gets a red magnetic letter and lights the fire playfully with this „lighter“. Afterwards they play Indians and sit around the campfire. Jonas asks Sven for a piece of cardboard to make the fire burn properly. (He makes wind with the cardboard.)

Here again a good knowledge about scientific connections and techniques can be recognized.

Jonas builds a great work of art out of cardboard rolls and different cardboard remains, which he later gives to his mother. This indicates a pronounced creativity and originality.

Jonas loves to puzzle or to lay tangrams.
Here he shows a strong self-motivation. With heavy puzzles he is often so deepened that he doesn’t perceive anything around him anymore and forgets the time completely. He shows high abilities in the occupation with geometrical figures and with tasks, which require spatial thinking ability.

Here you can read an evocative observation, which should give further information:

Jonas Does Make Paper Planes (German version)

And you can find projects in which Jonas was significantly involved here:

Picture book about the Perchten

Jonas (5;3) Makes Another Picture Book and Screens Paper

Soccer and Newspaper


Date of publication in German: 2012, January
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.