Evaluationsbogen Nr. 1

Datum: _____________        Teilnehmer/in Nr. _________

 

Sehr geehrte Teilnehmerin, sehr geehrter Teilnehmer,

wir möchten Sie bitten, die folgenden Fragen zu beantworten. Für uns ergeben sich aus Ihren Antworten wichtige Hinweise für die Gestaltung dieses und der nachfolgenden Kurse.
Nach der 3. und nach der 6. Seminarphase werden wir Sie nochmals um das Ausfüllen eines Evaluationsbogens bitten.

Ihre Antworten in diesen Fragebögen haben keinerlei Einfluss auf die Einschätzung Ihrer Leistungen.

1) Wie kommt es, dass Sie sich für das Thema Hochbegabung interessieren?
Ich bin auf das Thema aufmerksam geworden
(Mehrfachnennung möglich):

O durch private Erfahrungen,

O durch eine Veröffentlichung in einer Fachzeitschrift,

O durch eine Veröffentlichung in anderen Medien,

O durch eine Fortbildung des IHVO,

O durch andere Fortbildungen / Tagungen,

O durch meine Ausbildung zur Erzieherin,

O durch Gespräche mit Kolleginnen,

O durch Hinweise von Eltern zu einem /mehreren Kindern in
meiner Gruppe,

O durch Beobachtungen an Kindern in meiner Gruppe,

O durch ________________________________________________ .

2) Haben Sie vor Ihrer Anmeldung an einer Veranstaltung zum Thema
Hochbegabung im Kindergarten oder ähnlich teilgenommen?

O Nein.

O Ja, an einer Fortbildung / einem Vortrag Ihres Institutes.

O Ja, an einer Fortbildung mit einem anderen Veranstalter.

3) Warum machen Sie diesen Kurs? (Bitte alles ankreuzen, was zutrifft)

O Ich finde das Thema spannend.

O Ich will mehr Kompetenz im Umgang mit hoch begabten
Kindern erreichen.

O Ich will erkennen können, ob ein Kind hoch begabt ist.

O Ich will begründeter entscheiden können, wann für ein Kind der
beste Einschulungstermin ist.

O Ich will Eltern hoch begabter Kinder besser beraten können

O ______________________________________________________________

Fragen zu Ihrer Ausbildung:

4) Beruflicher Abschluss: _______________________________________________

5) Ausbildungsstätte: __________________________________________________

6) Jahr des Abschlusses: _______________________________________________

7) Zusatzausbildungen / Fortbildungen ab 1 Woche Dauer:

____________________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________________

Fragen zu Ihrer beruflichen Situation:

8) Ich arbeite als

O Gruppenleiterin

O Zweitkraft

O Ergänzungskraft /Helferin

O freigestellte Leiterin

O nicht freigestellte Leiterin

O ______________________________________________

9) Ich habe bisher _______ Jahre im Kindergarten gearbeitet.

10) Ich habe bisher _______ Jahre im Hort gearbeitet.

11) Ich habe bisher _______ Jahre anderswo mit Kindern

gearbeitet, und zwar: ______________________________________________

12) Die Kinder in meiner Gruppe sind _______bis_______ Jahre alt.

Davon sind _________ Kinder über Mittag betreut (Tagesstätte).

13)  Die Kinder meiner Gruppe kommen überwiegend aus finanziell / bildungsmäßig schlechter gestellten Familien. O

14)  Die Kinder meiner Gruppe kommen überwiegend aus
finanziell / bildungsmäßig besser gestellten Familien. O

15)  Die Kinder meiner Gruppe sind, was die finanzielle Lage und die
Bildungsabschlüsse der Eltern angeht, gut durchmischt. O

16) Unsere Kita hat _________ Gruppen.

17) Die Altersspanne der Kinder in der Kita ist von ________ bis ________ Jahren.

18) Wir haben eine schriftlich verfasste Konzeption. O Ja. O Nein.

19) Wir arbeiten nach einem bestimmten Ansatz, und zwar nach

_________________________________________________________________________

20) In meiner Gruppe arbeite ich mit einer Erzieherin / Kinderpflegerin /

Anerkennungspraktikantin / Vorpraktikantin / ________________________

zusammen. (Zutreffendes bitte unterstreichen.)

21) Für meine Arbeit steht mir außer dem Gruppenraum und dem Freigelände
noch zur Verfügung: Nebenraum / Halle / Turnraum /

_________________________________________________________________________

Fragen zur Erfahrung mit hoch begabten Kindern:

Bitte kreuzen Sie Alles an, was für Sie zutrifft:

22) O Ich habe, soweit ich weiß, noch nie mit einem hoch begabten Kind
zu tun gehabt.

23) O Ich habe in meiner Gruppe zur Zeit ein Kind / mehrere Kinder*,
bei dem/denen Hochbegabung durch einen Test festgestellt wurde.

24) O Ich habe in meiner Gruppe zur Zeit ein Kind / mehrere Kinder*,
bei dem/denen Hochbegabung durch die Eltern vermutet wird.

25) O Ich habe in meiner Gruppe zur Zeit ein Kind / mehrere Kinder*,
bei dem/denen ich Hochbegabung vermute.

26) O Ich hatte früher in meiner Gruppe ein / mehrere Kinder*, bei denen
Hochbegabung festgestellt oder von den Eltern vermutet wurde.

27) O Ich hatte früher in meiner Gruppe ein / mehrere Kinder*, bei denen ich
damals oder jetzt nachträglich Hochbegabung vermute/t habe.

28) O Ich habe ein in meiner Familie / meinem Bekanntenkreis ein oder mehrere
Kinder, bei dem/denen Hochbegabung durch einen Test festgestellt
wurde.

29) O Ich habe in meiner Familie / meinem Bekanntenkreis ein oder mehrere
Kinder, bei dem/denen Hochbegabung vermutet wird.

30) Bitte schreiben Sie spontan 6 Worte auf, die Ihnen
zu dem Begriff Hochbegabung einfallen:

________________________________ ___________________________________

________________________________ ___________________________________

________________________________ ___________________________________

31) Bitte kreuzen Sie an, wie sicher / unsicher Sie sich jetzt am Anfang des Kurses in folgenden Bereichen fühlen:

1. erkennen, ob ein Kind hoch begabt ist

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

2. erklären, was Hochbegabung ist

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

3. ein hoch begabtes Kind angemessen fördern

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

4. ein Gespräch mit Eltern eines hoch begabten Kindes führen

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

5. mit einem hoch begabten Kind angemessen reden

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

6. mit einer Lehrerin über ein hoch begabtes Kind sprechen

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

7. einem hoch begabten Kind gegenüber den Bildungsauftrag des Kindergartens erfüllen

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

8. ein hoch begabtes Kind verstehen, mich gedanklich und emotional in seine Lage versetzen

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

9. ein hoch begabtes Kind so integrieren, dass es sich von den anderen Kindern angenommen fühlt

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

10. ein hoch begabtes Kind in eine Projektarbeit integrieren

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

11. das Thema Hochbegabung auf einem Elternabend darstellen

unsicher O
eher unsicher O
unentschieden O
eher sicher O
sicher O

 

Vielen Dank für die Beantwortung der Fragen!

Themen und Termine

Beispiel:

Themen und Termine des IHVO-Zertifikatskurses Köln 3

1 16./ 17. Januar 09
Einführung ins Thema / Erkennen durch Beobachten
(Praxisaufgabe 1 und Literaturaufgabe 1 bis zum 15. April 09)

2 15. / 16. Mai 09
Mögliche Probleme hoch begabter Kinder im Kindergarten / Kommunikation / Elterngespräche
(Praxisaufgabe 2 bis zum 23. September 09)

Juni oder Juli 09 (Termin selbst vereinbaren)
Eintägige Kindergarten-Hospitation
(Hospitationsbericht bis zum 23. September 09)

3 23. / 24. Oktober 09
Kognitive Förderung / Kreativität / Fragen / Denken / Experimentieren / Frühlesen
(Praxisaufgabe 3 und Literaturaufgabe 2 bis zum 26. Februar 10)

4 25. / 26. Juni 10
Projektarbeit / Integration und Clusterbildung / Motivation / Leistung
(Praxisaufgabe 4 und Literaturaufgabe 3 bis zum 12. Oktober 10)

5 26. / 27. März 10
Sozialkompetenz / Personale Kompetenzen /
Einschulung / Zusammenarbeit mit der Schule
(Praxisaufgabe 5 bis zum 25. Mai 10)

im April oder Mai 10 (Termin selbst vereinbaren)
Eintägige Schul-Hospitation
(Bitte Notizen machen für die mündliche Auswertung)

6 12. / 13. November 10
Test-Diagnostik / Vertiefung Kreativität / Argumentieren / Abschlussgespräch + Vergabe der Zertifikate

Begabungsdiagnostik

Begabungsdiagnostik in der Praxis für Kinder- und Jugendlichenpsychotherapie

Oliver Staniszewski
Körnerstr. 2, 58452 Witten,
Internet: www.ppos.de

Ziel und Anliegen dieser Diagnostik ist es, möglichst frühzeitig Kinder mit besonderen Begabungen zu erkennen und gemeinsam mit den Eltern auf eine ganzheitliche Förderung und Begleitung hinzuwirken. Daher ist die Auswahl und Durchführung der Testverfahren auch so angelegt, das Kind in seiner Einzigartigkeit wahrzunehmen und möglichst vielfältige Bereiche des Kindes (will heißen: “Kopf, Bauch und Herz“) einzubeziehen.

Die Begabungsdiagnostik wird durchgeführt von Barbara Teeke, Dipl. Sozialpädagogin, langjährige Erfahrungen in der Durchführung pädagogisch-psychologischer Testverfahren, langjährige berufliche Tätigkeit im Kindergarten, im Heimbereich und in der offenen Kinder- und Jugendarbeit.
(Barbara Teeke führt auch für das IHVO Fortbildungen und Zertifikatskurse durch.)

Ein weiteres Angebot der Praxis beinhaltet die Fachberatung und Einzel- sowie Gruppensupervision für Eltern, Betreuungspersonen und pädagogische Fachkräfte für den Umgang mit hoch begabten Kindern und Jugendlichen. Zusätzlich ist Oliver Staniszewski bei psychotherapeutisch relevanten Fragestellungen beteiligt.

Jonas Does Make Paper Planes

by Anke Cadoni

 

After I had already thought a lot about Jonas (4;2), I wanted to find out more about him and give him a evocative task.

See also: Modes of Observation.

Read more about Jonas here:

Jonas, 4;2 Years.

Picture Book about the Perchten.

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

Soccer and Newspaper.

Jonas is always very interested in new challenges and is always open to them. Since he is currently working very intensively with the paper airplanes I fold every day and he would also like to fold them himself, which he has always refused in the past, I folded the individual folding steps in the morning as an impulse and hung them visibly in the group for the children.

… in a nutshell …

Jonas shows what he is made of when he learns to make a paper plane very quickly and independently. A demonstration of the work steps on a board on the wall is enough for him to achieve success. There’s only one point where he can’t get any further and gets help, despite his persevering attempts.

Already in the morning the first children discovered the instructions, for example Sven (5 years) and Jan (6 years). The two have already folded with enthusiasm and have reached their limits here and there. But they didn’t give up and with a little help folded their own plane for the first time. They were very proud of that!

Thinking about Jonas has also made joy and an important learning success possible for some other children.

Jonas hasn’t noticed any of this yet, because he always comes quite late. When he arrived in the kindergarten, the topic of „paper airplanes“ was not as topical at first.

Around 10.30 Jonas came to me and wanted me to fold a plane for him. I took this as an opportunity to show him the instructions. He immediately got a sheet of paper and started with step 1, without even asking a single question. He was highly motivated and focused from now on. After some time other children joined him, but he did not let himself be distracted.

He folded the first steps without problems, but later he too came to his limit. He tried and tried – but with one step he didn’t get any further. He asked me for help. I explained the step exactly to him again, and then he tried it again completely independently and managed it then also to fold the paper airplane finished. A huge glow was to be seen in his face.

He immediately made the first test flights, and the plane actually flew well. Now many other children wanted to fold their own plane and Jonas was often asked for help, which he obviously liked to give to the children.

Reflection

I managed to challenge Jonas again and at the same time I helped him unobtrusively to achieve one of his goals. He had wanted to be able to fold „this“ plane on his own for a long time. In connection with this action, other children have also taken on a new challenge and have grown a bit.

 

Interpretation of my observations with due caution

I chose Jonas as my observation child because he has stood out from the crowd of children since he entered kindergarten. From the beginning he had something special and fascinating about him, which not only I, as an educator, but also some children noticed.

Jonas was well received in the group and quickly it was clear for some children, Jonas is very useful, because he is very helpful.

His pronounced social behaviour struck me right from the start. He’s always for justice and can’t stand it if someone doesn’t do it. On the other hand, Jonas is also very sensitive and quickly starts to cry when someone has done him wrong or feels he has been treated unfairly.

His strong urge for independence and self-reliance was also striking right from the start. He never liked it if you wanted to help him. He wanted to do everything on his own. He has actually managed many things.

Nevertheless, I assumed that this child was of average ability. Now that I’ve been watching Jonas more intensively for a long time, I’m not so sure anymore. Surprisingly, many indications of possible giftedness apply to him. At first glance I would not have suspected this.

Today I believe that Jonas is at least particularly talented in certain areas.

See: Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence.

He is definitely a child who needs challenges and is already very advanced in his development.

In the areas of social behaviour, self-control, language and mathematical-logical thinking, he is at least a little ahead of many children.

However, what is not so important to him are possible characteristics of underchallenge. He is neither depressed nor aggressive or often ill.

On the contrary, he always attends kindergarten very regularly and is usually in a good mood. The only thing I’ve noticed lately is disturbances in the chair or morning circle.

At the moment he plays the clown more often or shows disturbing behaviour, by constant laughing, etc.

He has never shown this before.

Comment of the curse instructor:
If a gifted or particularly gifted child has a supportive family and a good kindergarten, experience has shown that behavioural problems or disorders of the basic mood do not occur in most gifted children until the age of 5. At a younger age there are usually still sufficient and good incentives for their development. But in the 5th year of life the mood often „tips over“ because a permanent underchallenge begins.
Jonas, for example, begins to disturb and clown. One can also understand this in such a way that he often cannot really take the events seriously.

See: Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension.

 

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

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

by Anke Cadoni

 

Jonas has expressed the wish to create another picture book with me.
This confirmed to me that Jonas had a lot of fun and joy with our last work together. We had produced the „Picture Book about the Perchten“.

More about Jonas:
Jonas, 4;2
Jonas Does Make Paper Planes

Picture Book about the Perchten
Soccer and Newspaper

How can I get Jonas to have new experiences now? I would like to introduce him to other possibilities of book design and suggest that he make the paper for a picture book himself.
Since at the same time we want to start the project theme in the group: „Books don’t grow on trees, do they?“, this would also be an action that fits well into the supporting programme. Nevertheless, Jonas could be given a separate space again to pursue his needs and penetrate more deeply into the topic.

I had wished that this time Jonas would like to work together with another child. But he fends this off again, on the grounds that „the others disturb me and make nonsense“.

Comment by the course instructor:
It would be so important that he still learns to differentiate here: Yes, most of them are annoying with my projects, but there are also some people who are doing well – and it is beautiful and enriching for me.

At first I accepted it that way and met again regularly with Jonas alone, which he enjoyed very much again.

Comment by the course instructor:
Yes, we think that’s a good decision at this stage.

How exactly the processing of the self-produced paper will be afterwards, I leave open. Here Jonas can give free rein to his good ideas and ideas.

…in a nutshell…
The five-year-old Jonas has already designed a picture book himself and now wants to do another one. His kindergarten teacher supports him and enables him to carry out his project at his own fast pace of work and learning and with his great concentration and perseverance.

Jonas is allowed to work alone, does not have to adapt to the other children and receives the necessary guidance to achieve a good result.
Nevertheless, the kindergarten teacher manages to make this individual project usable for the group.

However, it is very important to me that Jonas learns to open up a bit more to the other children and that he at least explains and demonstrates his plans and activities to the other children, for example in the chair circle.

Current child description

Jonas is now 5;3 years old. His greatest interest still lies in painting and drawing and meanwhile also in writing and telling stories.

Jonas comes to kindergarten in the morning and plays with his friends. At the moment he often plays with his friend David again. I often observe them building together on top of our wooden balcony in our group room. Often it is still about building traps for the Perchten. During this time they usually get along quite well.

Unfortunately, his friend Mick was often ill again and therefore did not attend kindergarten often and for a long time. But I noticed that Jonas visited Mick a few times at home.

What I notice again and again is that Jonas eventually releases himself from David’s free play and retreats to the craft table. When Mick visited the kindergarten regularly, he usually came to the painting table together with Mick. Now he often comes alone, but since our painting table is always well attended, he rarely sits there alone.

There he paints his picture in peace of mind, with uncanny perseverance, concentration and accuracy. Sometimes he tells stories about the individual pictures, which I then have to write down, or he asks me to prescribe certain words for him so that he can rewrite them.

Writing now fascinates him more and more. He is interested in many letters and asks how they are pronounced or written.
His explanations become more and more precise and he also becomes more and more critical with himself. If he has made a mistake in painting or even just a stroke is not where he should be, he throws the picture away immediately.

I often hear him explain to other children, for example, how they can paint a car. Or he interferes in conversations and tries to explain or correct things. But he always does this in a very nice way, sometimes he gets his backing from me and says: „Mrs. Cadoni, a spider has eight legs, isn’t that right?“

Some children now ask Jonas for help from time to time and I think this is one of the reasons why Jonas likes to work alone with me and in a separate room. There he can do what he wants to do undisturbed. If he decides to withdraw, then he also wants to be left alone. He then wants to become mentally active and work demandingly.

Comment by the course instructor:
It is good that you recognize this so clearly and that you can show so much understanding for it.

Preliminary considerations and goals

What am I going to do?

I want to take up the wishes of Jonas in any case. This means that we will again create a picture book and work alone for the time being.
At the same time I would like to convey to Jonas that it can also be fun to work together with another child. At a later date I hope that Jonas will open up and maybe let Jil work with him. She is one year older than Jonas, is also very interested in painting, picture books and is always open for new things. She also always works very concentrated and committed.
I’m going to give Jonas this option again and again and try to make it palatable to him.

On the other hand, I find it important to continue to allow him to withdraw from everyday life. He can also be alone once in a while, because this way he learns to cope with outsider positions, which he will probably have to deal with even more frequently in his further life.

Another important step, I think, is opening up to the rest of the group.
The other children also notice that Jonas often works alone with me and are often curious and interested. That’s why I think it’s important that Jonas shows the other children what ideas he has and what he has created or worked out with me.

So his ideas will be evaluated by children. Positive feedback strengthens his self-confidence, he experiences success and gets confidence in his abilities. On the other hand, he may also be criticised and learn to deal with such situations: Failures should not inhibit his motivation. He also has to overcome fears: „What will the others say?“

I also think it’s important that Jonas is shown even more possibilities for designing books. Until now, Jonas has always used paper, which is always available in kindergarten. Now he should have the possibility to change his point of view. I want to give him food for thought:

    • Is it natural to always have paper in the house?
    • How does it actually come about?
    • Can you also make paper yourself? How does that work?

Why do I want to do that?

Jonas should be strengthened even more in setting his own goals.
He actually does this quite well. But then it often fails because of the planning and implementation. He perceives that his friends often have other interests and then he often neglects his own plans. This is a pity, and I would like to work on it with Jonas.

I would like to achieve that he stands behind his ideas in such a way that he can inspire other children and pull them along. So he finds other contacts, which doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to give up his old contacts.

Of course, this also requires good organisational skills, but here, I think, kindergarten teachers and parents can support him well.

Comment by the course instructor:
Yes, to make his ideas interesting and tangible for other children and to organize the cooperation is a very high demand and certainly not to be done by him alone. He still needs guidance.

We think it’s good that you want to protect his freedom at the same time and don’t expect him to share all his intentions.

What do I want to achieve?

    • Jonas should get the opportunity to create another picture book.
    • He should be encouraged to think and act.
    • He should experience that cooperation can be just as beautiful and effective as individual work.
    • He should be given further opportunities to implement his abilities and ideas and to experience that withdrawal from the group is not his only possibility.
    • He should have made paper himself once and think about and experience what to do with it and how to use it.
    • He should share his activities and experiences with the whole group.

How do I want to put the ideas into practice?

First I will again work alone with Jonas. I would like to start with the way Jonas is familiar with. He is acquainted with it and is looking forward to it. I will make Jonas understand that I think his wish to create another picture book is a good one and that I will also support him.

I want to discuss with him that there are very different picture books and that we could now try to discover something new and try out different techniques. I want to introduce him to my idea of creating paper for a picture book by himself. I hope that Jonas will also be taken with this idea or that he will develop other great ideas himself.

I simply hope that Jonas will then notice again that I have time for him and his needs and that he will allow Jil to take part in some of the actions at some point.

As I know Jonas, he will take all his courage together and present his plans to the other children.

I also design my plans very openly, so that there is always enough space for Jonas‘ ideas and plans. So it can also happen that the planned offers take a completely different direction and the goals change a bit.

Implementation

The first meeting with Jonas takes place as usual in the next room of the group room. When I inquire about Jonas‘ wishes for the next activity, he immediately says: „I want to make another picture book, maybe about Easter or spring!“

I make him understand that I think the idea is good, but I would like us to make a different picture book this time using different materials and different methods.
I ask him to consider what kind of picture books he knows and how a picture book could still be designed.

Suddenly Jonas says: „Mrs. Cadoni, do you remember last year the children from the other group made folding stories like that, we can do that too, right?

Comment by the course instructor:
So he had registered that and probably already found it interesting at that time, but didn’t say it.

I am totally surprised that Jonas can still remember it, because I hadn’t noticed anything about it, so I had to ask my colleagues first.
In any case, I think the idea is really good. Just because Jonas also likes to fold.

See: Jonas Does Make Paper Planes (German version)

Then we talk about the production of paper.

„How is that supposed to work, Mrs. Cadoni? You certainly need machines for that, I once saw it on television!“

„You’re right about that, but to make a few sheets of paper, just a few simple tools are enough. After all, paper has been around for a long time and people didn’t have machines like today’s either.“

Jonas: „What do we need?“
„I’ve never done it myself,“ I explain to Jonas, „but I’ve heard that it’s really possible, the best thing is to go to the Internet and do some research there tomorrow, okay?“

This short conversation was enough to motivate Jonas again for a new thing!

Comment of the course instructor:
He has often experienced that working with you leads to interesting processes and results. Now he is confidently excited.

The next morning he comes to the kindergarten and wants to go with me immediately on the Internet. I try to explain to him that Jil is a little bored at the moment and would love to work with us. But Jonas is not enthusiastic about this:

„But I would like to do this alone with you, maybe another time!“

I explain to him that Jil is very interested and usually works very concentrated and committed, but Jonas sticks to his decision.

Comment of the course instructor:
He doesn’t want to endanger the cause or take any risks. Good that you can accept his decision.

So we were surfing the Internet. Quite quickly we find what we are looking for at „LABBÉ“. 〈It’s a handicraft materials company in Germany. (The translator).〉 There we find a really great description with many pictures. We print them out and discuss them afterwards. The pictures are almost self-explanatory, so that Jonas can understand the procedure of paper creation well.

Jonas puts the printed papers in foils so that a small instruction booklet is created. We hang it up in the next room so that we can take a look at it at any time.

Now we think about what we still need: the scoop frames and cellulose (in case of need you can also use newspaper instead).
I order the scoop frames together with Jonas on the Internet.

Now Jonas waits every day for the post, hoping that the scoop frames would be there.
It takes a few days, but then comes day X and there is a package for Jonas. He quickly unpacks the frames!

In the meantime, I have had cellulose procured from a friend who works in a paper mill.
I promise Jonas that I will have time for him the next day and that we can then start scooping. „It would be nice if Jil could work with us tomorrow – you can think about it!“
Jonas says at first only briefly, a little disappointed: „Yes, okay“, and disappears in the next room.

Comment of the course instructor:
After you have first responded flexibly to his decision (to work alone), you stay „on the ball“ as far as the experience of working with Jil is concerned. We think that’s good.

It doesn’t take long until Jonas approaches me and says: „I just looked at the instructions again. We have to soak the newsprint in hot water and you said that it would have to stand for a whole night before we could process it, didn’t you?“
„You’re absolutely right, I almost forgot! But you were really paying attention there.“ I really praise Jonas for this, because I thought it was great that he thought so well.

Comment of the course instructor:
This prudence is really remarkable. This shows that it really is already his project.

I then explain to him that I have procured cellulose and that we can soak it. Of course, he also learns from me that cellulose is fibre from plants that can be used to make paper.

We tear the cellulose into small pieces, which is not so easy because it is very hard. Then we pour boiling water over them. For every 100 grams of cellulose there are 4 litres of water.

Jonas helps to weigh the cellulose and to measure the water in litres. He obviously enjoys it a lot. Oh, by the way, on the subject of „Jil“ he says: „We can also try out the scooping with newspaper, and then Jil can also participate!“

Comment of the course instructor:
Old experience: Whoever has or gets something can also be generous. Those who live in want have to be stingy and can’t share well. In the cognitive field, this also applies to gifted children, depending on whether or not they themselves receive good advancement.

The next day Jonas and I move back to the next room, where I have already put all the materials and devices we need in the morning, because I wanted to avoid the unrest that would otherwise arise in the group. If the children had noticed what we were going to do, they would not have let us work in peace because of their curiosity and Jonas would probably have been very angry.

Jonas and I now do everything according to the instructions. A little bit I had believed that the whole thing didn’t work. All the more surprised I am about the success of our first self-made paper. Jonas‘ eyes get really big and even he can hardly believe that we made paper by ourselves.

The other children are making chair circle at this time. Jonas proudly says: „I want to show to the other children what we have done, is that possible?
I’m really glad that he says that, so I didn’t have to do any persuasion work. The other children of course noticed that I had done something with Jonas in the next room and became very curious.

Jonas and I put all the materials into the middle of the circle. Jonas tells the children that we manufactured paper and then shows to them how it works. All the children are totally attentive and excited. Even those children, who often get in the way, listen well and pay attention.

Jonas grows beyond himself in this situation, and I think he is relieved that he showed it to the children in the end. He has now experienced that all the children were totally enthusiastic.

Note from the course instructor:
Here you can really say without exaggeration: He has learned something important for life.

A few days later we repeat the scooping with newspaper – and Jonas agrees that Jil and some other children join in.

Together with Jil, Jonas also has a lot of fun. The two of them can quickly come to an understanding on who will take over which tasks. Jil also likes to take advice and tips from Jonas.
We hang the scooped papers on a clothesline so that they can dry better there.

The next morning Jonas is curious to see how the papers feel when dry. Unfortunately he has to realize that the drying on the clothesline was not such a good idea, because the papers are now all very curled. Jonas suggests to press the papers in a thick catalogue, so that they become really flat and we can use them for our picture book. We put this into practice immediately.

Note from the course instructor:
Apparently he wasn’t frustrated at all, but in the „problem solving mode“.

But now we’re off with the picture book!

In the following week Jonas finally wants to start with the new picture book. In the meantime I informed myself about the folding picture book which my colleagues has made. They gave me a sample copy, which I can present and read to Jonas.
Jonas: „Yes, that’s exactly what I meant – but I want to invent my own story! I can already fold a super airplane, a boat and a flower, I can already use these things in my story!

Before Jonas starts thinking about his own story, I’ll show him an origami book in which he can see what folding possibilities there are left.
He chooses different folding figures and objects and then tries to tell a story about them.

First I write down everything he says. In between I already give him a few tips. After many considerations he finally wants to become active and fold the first things.

He quickly realizes that folding is not as easy as it looked at first glance. However, he shows a lot of patience and motivation and does not let himself be discouraged by failures.

He can also experience that sometimes I have to think well and have problems here and there. I think that’s important for him, otherwise he would doubt himself again very quickly and become insecure.

After we have folded some figures together, we are faced with a new problem!
Jonas: „Mrs. Cadoni, look, the folding figures are much too big for our self-made papers  – or our papers are too small.“

Unfortunately, I only got scoop frames for DIN A5 paper, and they are really too small for such a folding book. Jonas recognized that well.
Now, in addition to the picture book, we have to think about something good, for which we can use the very beautiful paper we have manufactured.

When I think about the project at home, I suddenly remember a wish of Jonas, which he had expressed a long time ago. Jonas wanted to write a card to a kindergarten teacher who had been ill for some time. This is also our custom, but we haven’t made it yet.

The next day I give Jonas my idea. I help him a little to make a card out of two papers. With adhesive tape we connect the two papers. Jonas bends a normal sheet of paper so that it fits into the card as an insert. On one side he paints a beautiful spring picture. Then he wants me to show him how to write „Get well soon and Happy Easter“ and he writes it into the card.

Remark of the course instructor:
Yes, you really react flexibly. I also think it’s important that he can now put his „nice“ paper to good use.

This time Jonas is working at the handicraft table, and some curious children come along. They want to know what Jonas is doing. Jonas tells them about his intention and immediately some children want to help. Jonas says: „We can still do something on the front side“.
Since we folded tulips last week, Jan comes up with the idea of making two tulips for the front.

So that the other children are not disappointed, I explain to them that later on everyone can print a fingerprint on the card and they can paint a butterfly out of it. We then put your name on the butterfly so that Mrs. N. can see who has thought of her.

Jonas agrees with this without question, because that’s what we always do when we write to someone.
At the end the card becomes a really great community work, where many children had fun.

Remark of the course instructor:
Beautiful, and Jonas was right in the middle of it and at the same time also ahead, as it corresponds to his commitment and his talent.

At the end I suggest to the children that we can make a nice farewell card for Mrs. G. after the Easter holidays, because she is retiring, because we still have some great papers.
All the children involved think the idea is good!

The work on Jonas‘ picture book is then interrupted by a week of Easter holidays, but then we continue. At the same time Jonas together with Jil and Mick makes a farewell card for Mrs. G.. Jonas and Jil already know how to do something like this well, but Mick hasn’t been to kindergarten for a while and doesn’t really know how to make cards yet.

You can clearly see how happy Jonas is that Mick is finally back. Jonas clarifies in peace with Mick how they would like to design the card. Jil always gives some good tips in between. They divide the work fairly, so that everyone can work on the card.

For me it is very nice to see how social they are with each other.

Note from the course instructor:
Good team players! It’s hard to imagine what would become of a child like Jonas if he withdrew totally frustrated from the other children and then was not so pedagogically skilfully introduced to positive cooperation experiences. He would then be a candidate for the statement: cognitively very advanced, but underdeveloped in social behaviour.

On Mrs. G.’s farewell day she unpacks the card in front of the entire kindergarten crowd. She is very happy about the card and praises the artists. This experience, I suppose, strengthens Jonas once again well, and he can see that his works get high recognition. In this way he has not only made himself happy, but also Mick and Jil, because they are just as proud.

Note from the course instructor:
I find it very remarkable how you put it: He, Jonas, also made the other two children happy. He pulled them along with his energy and talent. That’s also what we mean when we say that it’s not just the highly gifted children who benefit from the special support.

Jonas and I work daily on the folding picture book. But he also wants to do this on his own again. On one of the days he allows Jil to come to the next room, where Jonas and I always work together. For Jil it is of course difficult to get into the matter at this time, because she doesn’t know the whole story of Jonas. But Jonas is also not willing to tell her the whole story, because he wants to get on with his work and finish the next pages.

Remark of the course instructor:
Here again a good understanding for Jonas from your side shows up.

The whole situation is therefore quite unsatisfactory for Jil. She loses interest and withdraws into the reading corner. I still try to motivate her and transfer tasks to her, but without success.

From now on we both work alone again, mostly while the other children are doing a chair circle or playing on the outside area, so we always have enough rest and are rarely or not disturbed at all.
Jonas again proceeds very planned. First the story is considered and written down, then all figures and motives are folded and afterwards every single page of the picture book is designed. For this I should read the story to him again and again, so that later the text matches the pictures.

Jonas glues the folding figures onto the pages and completes them with paintings.

But Jonas doesn’t want to have the text handwritten, as it is in the example booklet, but he asks me to write the text with the computer. Of course I am happy to do that for him. Then we insert the texts into the pages.

Every day Jonas is very energetic and persevering in his work. He almost always works intensively for half an hour to an hour. He doesn’t care whether the other children play outside or in a circle of chairs. He is not worried about missing anything. Actually he has only one goal: to finish this picture book with a lot of concentration in order to present it to the children and to his family.


〈The Story of the Sad Sheet of Paper〉

(You can see the cover page here; the complete picture book can be found at the end of this article).

Presentation

When the day finally arrives when the folding picture book is finished, Jonas seems mighty proud of his work again. He can actually be proud of it. The book is really beautiful again and especially for a child of this age it is very meaningful.

At noon Jonas introduces the other children of our group to his picture book in the chair circle. I read the long introductory text (see at the end of the article), the rest of the text Jonas tells freely. The children listen again with a lot of attention and interest. Some children say later that they would like to make such a book as well.

Unfortunately there are some envious people who react unpleasantly to the book again, like for example: „This is boring!“ Jonas noticed this and he tells me later that it is a bit depressing. I explain to him that sometimes there are people who are jealous of a good performance if they would find it difficult to do something like this themselves. That’s why they sometimes judge the book very negatively, even though they actually think it’s beautiful.

„You will encounter such situations more often in your life. You just have to learn to believe in your abilities. Through the many positive reactions of the other children you can recharge your batteries and build up self-confidence. Jonas, I think you are on the right track“.

Note from the course instructor:
You put that very nicely for him – again he has learned something for life!

Immediately I can see a smile on his face again, which I am very happy about.
His mother is also happy about the successful work and praises Jonas very much.

Reflection

Influence on our current group project

Overall, I think that Jonas’s interest in picture books, language and writing has contributed to the fact that the interest of many of the children in our group is now more focused. The project „Books don’t grow on trees, do they?“ has been extended to more than six weeks.

The younger children created small colouring books, the reading corner was extended and redesigned, and a typewriter was made available to the children. Rubber stamp letters and magnetic letters challenged the children to first attempts at writing. Through this project we have also succeeded in making it possible for almost all children to write their names. Together we created a group mailbox and from then on letters were painted, written, put into envelopes and stamps were affixed.

In addition, we have achieved that we now have intensive contact with the local library and visit it every three weeks to borrow new books.

Jonas and I have done a lot of individual work, but his interest has spread to the other children and made them curious.

Have I achieved my goals?

I achieved that Jonas has created a second picture book and have thus also fulfilled his wishes. Through this he has been stimulated again to cognitive thinking and doing. He has again come up with a story of his own in which there is a lot of logic and empathy. In the stories he always shows a very social vein.

Friends are important to him!

One also notices again and again that he looks beyond his own nose. So he saw a windmill in the folding book and thought about how he could integrate it into the story. I liked his idea of generating electricity with it very much and it showed me how connected Jonas already thinks.

Jonas always prefers to work alone on his actual project. Here he doesn’t want to adapt his own learning and working pace to other children, although he is basically very social. However, he likes to share work that differs slightly from his own project, such as the design of the cards, with other children and is then always very helpful and cooperative. He likes to carry out this work in a group and does not use retreat.

I suspect that he considers individual work to be more effective and successful.

However, Jonas already notices that he has aroused the interest of other children with his interest. Many activities on the subject of books and paper also took place throughout the group. For example, I still remember the chair circle, where I showed the children the different types of paper. The children were asked to label the papers with the correct names, to feel them and to hear how differently they rustle.

From this I then developed a game: I blindfolded a child and gave him a piece of paper for guessing. The children had a lot of fun playing this game. Jonas was very good, he knew almost all the papers and could feel them. However, many children were successful because I was able to influence the degree of difficulty very well. Thus all children were challenged strongly despite different development stages, and it was a successful community action, without a child particularly fell out.

The production of the paper was something very special for Jonas. To do something that nobody had done before in the kindergarten and in which even I was very inexperienced. He enjoyed searching the Internet for instructions. He witnessed all the important steps from beginning to end and, above all, carried them out himself.

I think he gained a lot of self-confidence through this. In my opinion, the situation in the chair circle was most beautiful for him when he showed the children his successful scooping attempt. The children were totally amazed and astonished that it really worked.

He presented his works, both the scooped paper and the picture book, to the other children on his own initiative. This shows me that he has had positive experiences and is learning to deal with negative reactions.

He notices that he can sweep the other children along and inspire them!

Remark of the course instructor:
The role that Jonas has now assumed in the group is an appropriate and happy one for a gifted child:
His insistence on his own projects, his willingness to work together with others on things that are not so central to him, to present his work and thus give other children inspiration in the best sense of the word.

At the same time, he experienced and tried out many new things for himself; he was also able to solve some problems, which was certainly the reason for his quite satisfied and relaxed mood.

Further ideas

I think the subject of „reading, writing, designing picture books“ is now pretty exhausted. The children are now familiar with this topic, have been given a lot, so that it has now become a self-runner.

Jonas is still often to be found at the painting table. At the moment he writes down everything he finds, such as headlines from newspapers or notes on papers.

His main topic at the moment is football. He often plays with other children in the hallway, and the rules of football are very important to him.
I have to see what happens next.
In the summer I change to another kindergarten. I don’t know if I’ll get a project with Jonas before the holidays because, as you know, there are a lot of other things to do during this time.

It worked out after all.
See Soccer and Newspaper.

And here is the complete picture book:

The Story of the Sad Sheet of Paper

For many days, even months, a simple sheet of paper, surrounded by many boxes, lay in the storeroom of a stationery shop. In the boxes lay many things made of paper. In the first there were colorful windmills, in the second there were pretty paper plates, in the third hats made of crepe paper and in another box there were paper masks.
Often the door to the storeroom would open and a man would come in. Every time he came, he would get a box. He carried it into his paper shop to sell the things inside. One day the box next to the sheet of paper said, „Tomorrow I’ll be picked up! Little Michael turns five years old. His mother baked him a delicious cake and put five candles on it – one for each year“.
„Why are you so happy about this?“ asked the sheet of paper. „In me lie many hats made of coloured crepe paper,“ the box replied. „Michael’s mother will buy us all tomorrow. Michael has invited his friends. Everyone should have a colorful paper hat.“ „Birthday party! Birthday party! We’re at a birthday party tomorrow“, all the hats shouted.
They were happy to finally get out of the box. „May I come with you?“ the sheet of paper asked. „No“, said the box. „No, no, no“ all the hats shouted now. „What do you want at a birthday party?“ they asked, „Just look at yourself. You are only a simple sheet of paper. You can’t do anything with them at a birthday party.“ When the sheet of paper heard that, it became very sad.

The next morning the man came into the storeroom and actually got the box with the hats. „Take me with you,“ asked the sheet of paper. It held on to the box. The man took the box under his arm and went out the door. The box screamed: „Let go of me!“ It shouted, „Let go of me immediately!“ and pushed the sheet of paper away. Shocked, it let it go and fluttered to the ground. There it lay now sadder than before and cried bitterly. „Why am I only a simple sheet of paper?“ it asked itself. „Why am I not also a paper hat or at least a paper plate?“ It looked very sad, laughed, looked at itself again – yes, really, it was true! The sheet of paper didn’t know what to do because it was so happy. It cheered: „I am not a simple piece of paper…“

****

.
1. Jonas finds the little leaf and takes it with him. At first he thought he couldn’t do anything with it. But then he discovered that it is a very special leaf. It has four equally long sides and when he folds it, it is a…


2. „Hurrah“, a paper airplane has been created. Jonas decides to go on a journey of discovery together with the plane! On the plane he takes off into the air and the adventure begins.

3. Jonas flies to a beautful island!

4. He wants to experience something on the island and thinks about how he could fold the leaf so that he can have a lot of fun. It didn’t take long, he had an idea. He folded a beautiful kite out of the plane and let it fly on the beach. In his dream he even imagined that the dragon could carry him!

5. He decides to stay longer on the island and builds himself a stone house on the island, where he can live and is protected from wind and weather.

6. A beautiful garden with great flowers is a must!

7. Suddenly Jonas‘ stomach growls and he thinks about what he could eat. Quickly he folds a ship out of the dragon, goes to the sea and catches a fish.

8. To generate electricity for light and heating, Jonas sets up a windmill on the island!

9. There are many animals around him, like the ladybird, the bird and the butterfly, but a real friend is missing!

10. He decides to fly to a neighbouring island and hopes to find a friend there.

11. He is lucky, immediately he finds a good friend named Mick, who goes on an adventure trip together with him.

 

Date of publication in German: 2017, January
Copyright© Hanna Vock

Observations after the Observational Chart by Joelle Huser

by Hanna Vock

 

The highly recommendable book „Lichtblick für helle Köpfe“ („A ray of hope for bright minds“) by Joelle Huser (see bibliography), which has in 2011 been published in its 6th edition, contains valuable copy templates which are presented in the IHVO Certificate Courses and then used by participants in their work. For example, the „observation sheet“, which fortunately also takes kindergarten age into account.

The questionnaire was developed to select the children for a support programme of the city of Zurich/Switzerland. It is tailored to the support programme there and therefore does not take into account all areas of giftedness (see: Domains of Giftedness), but five essential areas when it comes to discovering giftedness:

    • general characteristics of high intelligence,
    • linguistic intelligence,
    • mathematical-logical intelligence,
    • interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligence and
    • naturalistic intelligence.

In addition, characteristics of underchallenged children have been included in order to identify those children for whom additional advancement appears most urgent in the case of a shortage of space in the support programme.

Huser points out that the chart should not be used in isolation in order not to misjudge children. I would like to emphasise this.

Careful handling of the observation sheet is a prerequisite for us in the IHVO,

    • that the chart is part of an observation instrument,
    • that, where possible, observations made by team colleagues and parents are included,
    • that the statements of the chart are related to as concrete observations as possible of the child’s actions and utterances,
    • that the chart is used again at intervals in order to check and refine assessments.

In the following you will find examples of the work with the chart at kindergarten, related to the individual child who is suspected of having a special talent. They come from the homework of participants in IHVO Certificate Courses.
Examples:

Jasmin, 3;4 years (German version)
Ergün, 3;10 years
Felix, 4;8 years old (German version)
Rachel, 4;6 years old
Katja, 6;10 years (German version)

All names are changed to protect the anonymity of the children.

 

Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.
Date of publication in German: 2009, September
Translated with help from DeepL

Jonas, 4;2 Years

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

27.03.09
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.

30.03.09
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.

31.03.09
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.

01.04.09
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.

03.04.09
„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.

06.04.09
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.

08.04.09
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.

06.05.09
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.

 

Examples on Children under the Age of 3 in Kindergarten

Example by Martina Lange-Blank, Cologne

Jan-Hendrik spoke with 2;1 the sentences: „I know who I am – actually nobody“ or „I know myself exactly, but you don’t know me“.

When he was 2;6 years old when he got a place in a kindergarten with us, he didn’t come with a cuddly toy during his settling-in period, but with his „university book“. The mother was apparently embarrassed, she explained: „He doesn’t like to take a cuddly toy with him“.

The „university book“ was completely empty and also remained empty, but it was very important for him, he always had it with him. If someone said: „There is nothing in it“, then he replied: „But I can still read everything in it“.

Jan-Hendrik was and is a cheerful and balanced child and was always full of energy from the beginning. In the morning he thought about what he would take out of his university book and tell the other children today. Linguistically he was very far away.

See also: Jan-Hendrik Wants to Write an Encyclopaedia of Romans (German version)

Date of publication in German: 2014, January

Example by Petra Cohnen, Herzogenrath

Ergün has a precise idea of what he wants to do, when, with whom and where. He accepts regularities in the daily routine in principle, but often discusses them with the kindergarten teachers if his play ideas could be disturbed by the regularities.

Example: In the first few months that Ergün spent in our kindergarten, the following situation occurred, which is still present to me and which still makes me smile today:

On that day I accompanied the children to lunch and told them that we would go to the Rainbow Group after dinner because our own group was cleaning today. A conversation developed about cleaning: Putting up chairs, rolling up carpets, etc.; some children wanted to help me with this work. Ergün, then 2;3 years old, stresses that he will not go to the neighbouring group, he will continue playing here! Through the following conversation between Ergün and me it turned out that he wanted to finish a building he had begun. My explanation that the building also had to be cleared away didn’t seem to impress him at first. This surprised me again, as I had rather expected his protest.

He was silent for a while and then asked if anyone else besides me would put up the furniture for cleaning. When I denied that, his face brightened and he wanted to know in a friendly way if I didn’t want to end my work now…

That shows a really very early ability for combinatorial and strategic thinking as well as for thinking in relation to time.

All kinds of things! And, of course, it is also very cute.

For further development of Ergün see:

Ergün, 3;10 Years

and still 3 further contributions, which are linked at the end of the contribution „Ergün, 3;10 Years“.

Date of publication in German: 2010, April

Example by Hanna Vock

Sheila (2;10) showed very intelligent behaviour. She found a block puzzle on a shelf in the group room. This is a game consisting of 4 x 6 wooden cubes, which are covered with fairy tale pictures on all 6 sides. On each cube only a part of the picture is to be seen.

Depending on how you place the cubes next to each other, you can get many muddle of noodles pictures or a complete fairy tale picture – and there are 6 different ones. Before you can place a square puzzle piece, i.e. one of the cubes, correctly, you have to find out the correct side of the cube, place it upwards and turn the picture into the correct position.

Since all sides of the cube were painted in a similar style and colouring, the playing child had to orientate himself either on the content of the picture or on the very differentiated picture transitions.

For a two-year-old this is a great mental challenge. Sheila tried with great perseverance and on the second day managed to lay the first fairy tale completely.

After one week she had laid all six fairy tales.

The same girl told her mother when she was picked up at the age of 2;5:

„We all jumped down, so jumped, jumped… Karin (the kindergarten teacher) came in and said: „You’re not supposed to do this.“  But we did it after all. Always up to the chair and down, hop, hop. But Eli and Aida sat still.“

Date of publication in German: 2010, April

Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.

 

Gifted Children and Exceptional Emotional Sensitivity

by Elke Keuler

 

– in discussion with presentations on the „Phänomenologie der Hochbegabung (Phenomenology of Giftedness)“ in Webb, Meckstroth, Tolan: Hochbegabte Kinder, ihre Eltern, ihre Lehrer – ein Ratgeber, Bern/Göttingen/Toronto/Seattle 2002 (3rd edition), page 21 -41. (See bibliography.)

Performance and talent are only one side of giftedness. Often gifted children are also particularly emotionally sensitive. This is also emphasized by the Polish psychiatrist and psychologist Kasimierz Dabrowski (1902 – 1980), whose theory is presented in the first part of the book by Webb and others.

I find it particularly interesting how Dabrowski classifies certain behaviors and special sensitivities (high sensitivities of the senses) of gifted children, which I have already observed myself.
He distinguishes five congenital special sensitivities („overexcitabilitis“ – abbreviated OE), which occur in gifted children in different mixtures and intensities and strongly determine their personality:

– psychomotor
– sensory
– intellectual
– imaginary and
– emotional OE.

… in a nutshell…

In her third of three required literature tasks in the IHVO Certificate Course, the author deals with the often observed special emotional intensity of highly gifted children.

She combines her experiences at the kindergarten with the findings from the above-mentioned specialist literature.

Learning to appreciate special feelings

I am particularly interested in the latter, the special emotional sensitivity of gifted children. Gifted children often feel themselves as „out of order“ because they feel affected in situations that others overlook. Such children need help to accept and appreciate their special feelings. Otherwise there is a danger that their emotional tensions will lead to physical symptoms such as headaches or irritable stomachs.

Dabrowski describes that gifted children can perceive more stimuli than others – which I have also observed. At the same time, however, these children are often not yet able to „sort“ their many perceptions. Since sensory overload can lead to „inner chaos“, all children must learn to channel stimuli and set priorities. In my opinion, the gifted child also needs the support of adults for this.
For the work in the kindergarten it is necessary that teachers and parents are aware of these sensitivities, understand them correctly and can offer the child the necessary help.

High sensitivity as an opportunity

I find it positive that Dabrowski does not only consider the particularly pronounced sensitivities of gifted children to be stressful. He also sees a chance for the children to be able to achieve an individual personality concept at the highest level on the basis of these sensitivities – if things run optimally. This also depends on the reactions of the people who deal with these children on a daily basis.

My experience has shown that gifted children are particularly sensitive to interpersonal interactions. A change in vocal pitch or behaviour is perceived directly. They feel particularly intense and may suffer more – even in difficult situations that do not affect them personally.

The average is regarded as the standard

The process of emotional development is part of the development of the whole personality. I often have the impression that in our society we offer hardly any room for individuality. A tendency towards the norm, towards the middle, is clearly discernible. The average is the yardstick for „normal“ performance.
It is also clear what pressure gifted children are under, who often experience themselves as „different“.

Promoting unconventional strategies

In contrast to the average gifted, the strength of gifted people lies in their ability to achieve goals by other, sometimes unconventional means. Because kindergarten teachers and school teachers often only know or accept ready-made procedures and solutions, gifted children find it difficult to live and learn. They have too little room for individuality and creativity.
It would be desirable for teachers not only to tolerate unconventional strategies, but also to discuss and work out individual solutions with the children, to advance and encourage them.

High demands on pedagogues

I find it astonishing that even where there are school programmes for the gifted, the focus is on repeating facts, which inevitably means that the proportion of individual, creative work is lower than possible.

Working with gifted children and young people is a very demanding area. It demands not only a high level of commitment from the educator, but also innovative and flexible thinking.
If the strengths of the child, its divergent thinking and unconventional world view are not recognised and encouraged, self-esteem doubts, inner emptiness, boredom and – what I find particularly bad – loneliness grow.

Kindergarten teachers who are not trained in the field of giftedness often develop the feeling that the children are questioning their authority. This shows which personal prerequisites teachers have to bring with them in order to be able to understand and adequately advance gifted children – not only intellectually, but also emotionally. These questions should play a greater role in the training of kindergarten and school teachers.

Integrating the gifted

Gifted children have to be integrated without having to adapt them to the average norm under pressure. Gifted children and mostly their parents need „back support“ again and again.
An individual advancement of gifted children is only possible if one says goodbye to some given structures and thus offers room for new structures.

Again and again I have encountered the prejudices and myths about gifted children, which are also addressed in the book by Webb and others. And not only in my kindergarten, but also in our counselling network.

For the gifted child, it can have fatal consequences if, for example, it is mistakenly diagnosed as „hyperactive“. This makes it clear how little doctors often know about the subject of giftedness.
When I think about how many mistakes a gifted child can be at the mercy of and how serious the consequences can be, I see how important it is to further educate people about the phenomenon of giftedness.

Protecting children from isolation

Gifted children are often far ahead of their peers in terms of language usage, which leads to communication difficulties. This is why they often look for older children or adults to talk to. This can lead to little or no contact being established within the peer group.
Also in this context, the attitudes and actions of the adults who deal with the child are important. If, for example, parents are proud that the child exchanges ideas primarily with adults, they will hardly take the initiative to open up opportunities for the child to establish other relationships. The child threatens to isolate itself. This problem should be tackled at an early stage through targeted assistance from the adults involved (parents, educators, teachers) in order to support the child, enable a positive attitude towards life, and protect it from isolation and loneliness.

Avoiding excessive demands

Enlightenment is also necessary when adults – based on the intellectual maturity of the child – demand that it always behaves appropriately mature. His behaviour is age-appropriate: It can quarrel with siblings about toys, even if he may have dealt with nuclear energy shortly before… For many parents and other adults involved, this discrepancy is difficult to understand.

I find the thought that there should be something like an „optimal intelligence“ frightening. Does this mean that being intelligent is all well and good, but please only for as long as it is not uncomfortable or a challenge for others ?

Comment by the course instructor:
This concept of optimal intelligence, which appeared at Hollingworth as early as the 1940s, means that gifted people are often too far away to achieve anything significant and to gain recognition by their environment.
Of course, both are connected, as you also suggest in your critical question: If the very gifted person does not find access to similarly qualified people in time, then he may be prevented from being socially accepted and achieving great things. From this results – in our opinion already in kindergarten – the pedagogical task of bringing gifted children together with other gifted ones. In this way the course can be set towards understanding through others and socially recognized achievements.

On the one hand (intellectually) gifted children are neglected in and by our society: their abilities are not seen, they are often denied adequate support. On the other hand, attempts are made to press them into any norms. The energy used for this should be better translated into efforts to support the children and above all to understand them!

Comment by the course instructor:
Yes, and also the exceptionally highly gifted – which in our opinion can only be achieved through intensive mentoring.

In addition to emotional overload, however, gifted children still suffer above all from intellectual understrain: they spend a lot of time waiting: waiting for them to learn something new; waiting for others to come after them, even though the solution has long been clear to them. This certainly creates a lot of frustration.

The urge for self-determination and perfection

Gifted children strive especially for self-determination and perfection – as Dabrowski also emphasizes. Many of them demand the same rights as older people and often have a pronounced sense of justice.
In practice, the urge for self-determination should also be allowed in situations in which it is possible. However, if their ideas cannot be put into practice at the moment, it is necessary to talk to the children about it.

If the child strives strongly for perfection, one should help him on the one hand to be able to implement the ideas, but on the other hand also make him aware that some abilities need time to develop – even if „the head is already further ahead“. This applies, for example, to fine or gross motor skills.

Help in case of asynchronous development

Under the title „Hochbegabung: Fluch und Segen“ (Giftedness: Curse and Blessing), Webb and others describe more difficulties arising from asynchronous (temporally divergent) developments in the cognitive, emotional and physical realms, for example. Internal tensions and frustrations are cited as consequences, which in turn can lead to certain tasks or plans being abandoned or not being addressed at all.

Kindergarten teachers are then particularly challenged to accompany the child in its overall development with a high degree of sensitivity.

Gifted children are far ahead of their peers. This does not necessarily apply to all interests and abilities. In the kindergarten, it is easier for gifted children to find suitable children for their various interests. If the kindergarten teacher realises that the child has difficulties here, she can help them make contact or form interest groups.
See also: Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages (German version)

Especially with younger children such a mediation is helpful, because the older children do not always want to deal with younger ones on their own.

Learning to understand oneself

An important educational task for gifted children is to help them develop an understanding of themselves and their giftedness.
This becomes clear when a gifted child initially does not understand that other children are not interested in unusual topics with the same intensity. It is therefore not only a matter of supporting the child in his or her areas of interest, in his or her curiosity, and advancing it further. Conversations help the child to understand itself better and to experience that it is OK the way it is.

Gifted children sometimes deal with issues such as world peace or core moral issues. They are stunned by the fact that others do not share their curiosity and see content differently. Even if they understand the content because of their intellectual ability, this does not necessarily mean that they can process or understand it emotionally. So they must still learn, for example, that humans make also errors and solutions don’t evenly lie on the hand directly.

Confusing and at the same time enormously stressful can also be for these children: On the one hand adults cannot understand why the child argues with topics such as atomic energy and environmental protection, and on the other hand the same persons expect that it later on as an adult feels responsible for these topics.

The children need the support of adults to explain content and help them process and understand their feelings.

Difficult handling of double messages

Our society often sends out contradictory double messages on the subject of giftedness: On the one hand, young talents and gifts are highly valued and rewarded. On the other hand, adults repeatedly try to push gifted children into a „normal form“. It is easy to imagine how much the children suffer from this ambivalence. The ambiguous behaviour of adults affects their relationship and trust in them.

Like all children, the gifted also want to belong. This can lead them to define themselves about what they do best and then show this to the outside world. However, when it comes to intellectual achievement, it often triggers the known (negative) reactions of others.

Some children then change their strategy: in order not to attract attention, they keep their knowledge and skills „behind the scenes“. This again shows the dilemma in which gifted children find themselves.

It also happens that parents define their gifted child mainly by the performance it shows, and that the child consequently only attaches its own value to the performance. I can imagine very well what is triggered emotionally in this child if he is worried about not being able to live up to his own expectations or those of his parents.

Tragic refuge in solitude

I find it problematic and above all tragic when gifted children consciously withdraw from their peers. Out of fear of rejection, no attempt is made to make contacts at all. Webb and others write in this context about „loneliness as a refuge“, which could also become a „prison“.
That can only mean for me that such children are unhappy if they have no friends at all.

Although gifted children also seek loneliness in order to live out their creative abilities undisturbed, Webb and others continue to write. It makes no sense to force them into group activities.

Comment by the course instructor:
Instead of loneliness, we would prefer the term „temporary seclusion“.
We understand loneliness as the absence of other people to whom the individual has good connections. Even gifted people do not really seek this state. That fits also to your next sentences.

For me, the logical conclusion is that adults first have to find out what the children are interested in. Then projects or activities can be offered in which the gifted find other children who share their interests.

Against incomprehensible rules

Gifted children like to question rules, customs and traditions. If they are not logical to explain or are simply irrational, their logical thinking makes it difficult for them to accept these limits or rules.

It becomes particularly critical when adults, who nevertheless possess so much power (in the eyes of children), behave contradictorily in their opinions and attitudes. It seems equally incomprehensible when adults are unable to cope with problems whose solutions seem so obvious.

It is even more difficult for the gifted to understand that hardly anyone but themselves seems to notice this incompetence. I think these children doubt not only the adult, but sometimes themselves as well, depending on their self-esteem. It is understandable that such experiences can lead to existential crises at an early stage.

See also:
Disturbing Stupidity of the Adults.

 

Date of publication in German: 2017, May
Copyright © Elke Keuler, see Imprint

Foreign Languages at Kindergarten

by Hanna Vock

 

Many parents (in Germany) wish that their child already learns English at kindergarten. There are two possibilities:
1. the child attends a bilingual kindergarten – of which there are not many – or 2. English is „offered“ in the „normal“ kindergarten. (Everything that is done here also applies to other foreign languages).

1. Bilingual kindergarten

For children who grow up bilingual at home, a bilingual kindergarten can be a good complement to the domestic bilingual world. It is irrelevant whether bilingualism has arisen because a family has immigrated and now wants to cultivate the child’s language of origin in addition to the new colloquial German, or whether the child grows up in a family in which the father and mother speak different mother tongues. In any case, the child receives a lot of input in both languages both at home and in kindergarten and can practice both languages daily.

In both languages the child also speaks to people close to him or her and who are emotionally significant for the child.

If a child, from about three years of age, attends a bilingual kindergarten without having learned the second language, it is in a more difficult situation, as it often will not be able to express emotionally significant things (unlike other children in the group) spontaneously or even understand them.

Here, attentive and careful pedagogical work that takes this into account is all the more important. But there is also a wide field for social learning among the children, who are sensitised to the needs of the children who are still lagging behind and can help in acute situations.

This problem will be defused if it is ensured to a large extent that a teacher of each language can always be addressed by the children.

For gifted children and especially for linguistically highly gifted children, attending a bilingual kindergarten can be a suitable cognitive and linguistic challenge.

It should always be checked whether the kindergarten only scores with bilingualism or whether other play and learning areas are also represented at a high level. Above all: Is it a place for children where they can live out all their important childhood needs?

See also: Quality Criteria for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children in Kindergarten

2. Offers in the regular kindergarten

Even in normal regular kindergartens, kindergarten teachers are confronted with the demand of parents to offer English, for example.

If an English native speaker is one of the teachers, or a teacher who speaks the language very well for other reasons, then she can always playfully incorporate English into her normal work.

Some parents, however, have other ideas. They want a regular course within the kindergarten day that systematically teaches language skills.

When I was head of a parents‘ initiative kindergarten, I’ve been stormed with exactly this wish from time to time. This happened with reference to the irreplaceable language learning opportunities at kindergarten age.

And these were the considerations that I then threw into the debate at parents‘ evenings:

1.
In the kindergarten we see as our task,
– firstly, to let the children experience that there are different languages,
– secondly, to listen to and try out the sound of other languages,
– third, to see that some languages use completely different characters, and
– fourthly, to make it clear to them that children who (still) have difficulties with the German language often have a good command of another language (which gives these children a better standing in the group).

2.
One must be aware of this – and should tell the parents that occasional playful contact with English (or another language) does not lead to clear language acquisition. Single words that have been learned in this way are almost always forgotten. This is especially the case if
– a time gap of two or more years arises after attending kindergarten, i.e. if only in the 3rd grade or even later English lessons will take place again, or if
– English is not spoken in the home environment.

3.
Children who are not particularly linguistically gifted would be overburdened by an intensive learning programme, especially if neither German nor English is their mother tongue. (Children with a special talent for languages could, however, cope well with such a programme).

4.
The accent-free learning of another language, which is often desired by the parents, only succeeds if the child is gifted for it and / or surrounded by the language at an early age.
It will then still be of importance which English the child comes into contact with (British, American, Australian, Canadian … English). This „accent-free“ English will be learnt by the child.
Here the question also arises: How important is it to master a foreign language without an accent?

5.
If we want to employ a native speaker on a permanent basis, this is a cost factor. If, however, only children whose parents could pay this could participate, it would be very unsocial.

6.
If we entrust the English course to someone from outside, we have to accept time restrictions for our very own pedagogical work: Projects have to be interrupted and we have to get the children out of the game. This is not in the sense of our pedagogical concept.
(See: An „Old“ Concept – Complete Version (German version))

In the evaluation of numerous studies, science has found that

– who would have thought that –

that in bilingual kindergartens „…intensive playful learning of the foreign language, considerable foreign language acquisition as well as the age-appropriate acquisition of the mother tongue takes place, … if the programme offers a suitable environment for this and implements very specific pedagogical principles.“
(Kristin Kersten, Frühes Fremdsprachenlernen in bilingualen Kindertagesstätten – Forschungsprojekt Elias  /  Kristin Kersten, Early Foreign Language Learning in Bilingual Day Care Centers – research project ELIAS, in: news & science. Promotion of the gifted and research on giftedness, published by: Austrian Centre for Gifted Education and Research (ÖZBF), Issue 1, 2012, p. 15.)

In the following, important factors for success there are mentioned:
„…a start as early as possible, a long duration of the programme, a high intensity of contact with the foreign language and high-quality input“.

All this can hardly be guaranteed under the normal working conditions of a regular kindergarten, unless other important areas are neglected.

See also: Improving Framework Conditions! (German version)

In my opinion, similar reservations apply to English courses outside kindergarten, i.e. commercial courses, as listed under 2 to 4.

Experience shows that gifted children rarely get their money’s worth here, because the learning speed for them is too low, (under certain circumstances much too low).

3. What is possible and useful – and what is done in many kindergartens

Due to the internationality of many kindergartens and intercultural projects, the children learn in their daily kindergarten routine that there are different languages, for example when they hear mother and child speak Spanish during pick-up.
Children who are gifted with languages – and therefore particularly interested in languages – listen more closely here.

In many morning circles the children greet each other multilingually. Important words such as „going out“ or „lunch“ can be used in several languages. Creative kindergarten teachers who enjoy foreign languages themselves can think of many other key words for everyday kindergarten life…

A course, such as „We sing songs in three languages“, can enrich everyday kindergarten life and inspire children who are interested in languages.

A kindergarten teacher turned her enthusiasm for the British royal family into a course, which naturally included a number of English expressions.

Such activities are within the framework of the kindergarten’s above-mentioned tasks with regard to foreign languages.

Three very different projects with especially gifted children can be found here:

Murat Wants to Learn: Math Problems with a Minus and English (German version)

About the Book: Have You Filled a Bucket Today?

Cologne Speak in Kindergarten (German version)

 

Literature recommendation:

(Title and/or availability in English translation could not be determined)

Elke Burkhardt Montanari, Wie Kinder zweisprachig aufwachsen. Ein Ratgeber. Hrsg. vom Verband binationaler Familien und Partnerschaften. (How children grow up bilingual. A guidebook. Published by the Association of Binational Families and Partnerships.)

Colin Baker, Zweisprachigkeit zu Hause und in der Schule. Ein Handbuch für Erziehende. (Bilingualism at Home and at School. A handbook for educators. Also available in Turkish.)

 

Date of publication in German: 2017, June
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint