Malte, 5;0 Years Old

by Martina Werner

 

A clearly highly gifted girl from my group unfortunately moved to another city shortly before the start of my IHVO Certificate Course. So I had to decide quickly for another child.

I suspect three other children in my group to be gifted. I then decided on the most „conspicuous“ of these children who, in my opinion, needs the most support. The problem with these three children, however, is that they are all moving to another group in the summer because the pre-school children are being grouped together there. Therefore, I do not yet know how I will be able to work with my observation child in the future.

Nevertheless, I have decided on: Malte (now almost 5 years old). He has been attending our facility for two years, the family has booked 25 hours, which means he is with us from about 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. There are currently 19 children in his group, aged 2 to 5.

Malte is difficult, but also clever

Malte is „conspicuous“ in many ways. He has few friends, he often has fights and also physical confrontations, he often plays the clown, he prefers to play with adults, he can be very helpful and reliable, he quickly stores up great knowledge when something interests him,… I would now like to take a closer look at him.

For me, there was already a remarkable observation a year ago: Malte had once again attracted attention by knocking over furniture and having fierce arguments with other children and I wanted to interrupt this by offering him a more difficult learning game („Heinevetters Zehnertrainer“).

At that time he was not yet four years old and could only read the first three numbers. But the game went up to 20, and since he couldn’t read the numbers, he simply counted them off each time. He had to sort tiles with written numbers onto a card that contained different symbols in different quantities. In addition, colours played a role: red from 1-14, blue from 1-14 and black from 1-20. The tiles were pre-sorted in a difficult arrangement.

So he first had to recognise this sorting, then keep the colour, count the symbols, then count the tiles in the right colour, keep what he had counted before,…

In any case, all this required a great deal of thinking ability. I only had to give him a hint once, information was immediately stored and implemented. He invented his own system and showed great intrinsic motivation and perseverance. In the meantime, pick-up time had begun and his mother waited patiently. However, it was important to him that I stayed with him so that I could eventually support him.

Since then I have been observing him much more closely and have
more positive than negative sides to him.

I mean, here he shows:
Enjoyment of intellectual activity and of recognising connections, quick absorption and processing of information, logical thinking, independent problem solving and perseverance with interesting topics.

Numbers and letters

From January to March, I observed Malte particularly intensively (4;10 to 5;0 years). His interest in numbers was confirmed. When I filled a tub table with sand and wooden numbers, Malte looked for the numbers in the sand and could name them all from 0 to 9. He was also able to put them in the right order by starting to count at 1 again and again. A colleague then showed him how the numbers beyond 9 are put together, for example that 10 consists of a 1 and a 0. He quickly understood the system and was able to place more numbers. To check whether he had internalised the system, the next day I did an exercise for the portfolio with these wooden numbers. There he could repeat it. He can now count up to 30.

He has a great interest in numbers, he is curious to learn more numbers and shows a quick grasp and a good memory. He likes to work with numbers for a long time, mostly on his own initiative.

Malte is also interested in letters. In February, a colleague offered a „rhyme workshop“. He went to the interested children personally and asked if they would like to rhyme something with him. Malte was engrossed in a game with cars and so my colleague sat down with him and started to tell him stories in rhyme. Malte showed interest, but didn’t want to interrupt his game. In the course of the conversation, a poem slowly emerged. Malte neglected his game more and more and turned more and more intensively to rhyming. My colleague Sinan took down the poem in capital letters and the next day they entered it into the computer together.

The plan is to produce a book of poems that parents can also read. Malte was also very interested in writing on the computer. At the beginning, Sinan showed him the individual letters, after a short time he found the first letters on his own, he saw that Sinan used the space bar between the words, he understood how to get to the next line,… and at the end he copied the poem on his own. However, he found it difficult to ask for help. Instead, he kept showing a letter until Sinan confirmed it. After both offerings, he still had the desire to have a story read to him.

Gedicht:
Lars lebt auf dem Mars,
und spielt gern mit Cars
oder mit dem Gras.

Er hat auch einen Hasen,
der heißt Haas.
Das war´s!

〈Poem:
Lars lives on Mars,
and likes to play with cars
or with the grass.

He also has a rabbit
called Haas.
That’s it!〉

Again, you can see his quick thinking when he writes the poem on his own at the end.

He shows self-motivation and long perseverance, especially when working with adults. You can also see his sense of word play, his large vocabulary and his good way of expressing himself. However, here you can also see that he has high expectations of himself. He doesn’t like to show that he can’t do something.

I have other examples of that:

He also likes to do Mini-LÜK with an adult. He then chooses the tasks himself and tends to choose easy tasks that he can do without any problems. When I give him more difficult tasks, he likes to ask for the correct position for each tile until I say yes.

Or he likes to sign up for AGs, he is curious about everything new, but he doesn’t join in at first. He sits down and watches.

My guess is that he has very high expectations of himself and only joins in when he is sure he can do everything.

That’s what he did, for example, in the early music education that an external colleague offers in our kindergarten.

I asked her for information about Malte’s behaviour and skills. In her opinion, Malte has no special abilities, he is good but does not stand out. Instead, he has great deficits in social behaviour. He often disturbs the others, sometimes doesn’t follow the rules, sometimes doesn’t participate at all,… These are exactly the observations I have also made.

 

But I think that on closer inspection there is more to Malte!

Our trainee started the therapeutic riding programme during her time at school, which she continues to supervise at the moment. The four-year-old children could register there. Malte was really looking forward to it and went along enthusiastically the first time.
Once there, he held back again and just watched. But even then he retained an amazing amount of information and details. For example, on the next outing he knew that the part of the hoof you are supposed to scratch out is called the „frog“. The other children have also noticed that he knows a lot and ask him when they don’t know something. He is the „expert“, so to speak.

Malte has a special ability to remember and observe. He stores knowledge in a lasting way. He also shows great knowledge about natural history topics.

He needs additional challenges

Although he now enjoys riding, he recently didn’t want to go, his parents had told me. He could not give them a reason. Our trainee Laura, then talked to him about it and found out that Malte doesn’t like to take turns riding. He would rather use all the time for riding. But there are always 10 to 12 children together with three horses in the forest or in the hall, so it doesn’t work without taking turns. Laura and Malte were then able to agree that he could be the „photographer“ in between. So now he is responsible for taking the photos.

When Laura gave Malte the introduction with the camera, I could again observe how quickly he learns new things. Laura told me afterwards that he was able to handle the camera very well and with little help. The next time, the battery of the camera happened to be empty, so he had no task to do while waiting. He was then barely able to follow rules and massively disrupted the flow of the joint offering. That’s his other side again!

So he also has an interest in technical processes, but also in natural history subjects, such as horse riding, photography or even rabbits.

Sad about the death of the rabbits

We have rabbits in our kindergarten that the children can take care of.
I was on sick leave and came to visit the kindergarten on Carnival Friday. Malte was the only child from my group and was looked after in the group of children under 3 years that day. My colleagues told me that Malte had neither eaten breakfast nor wanted to play or talk. When I arrived, he was very happy and immediately started talking to me.

He had brought a white cuddly polar bear with him that day and told me he had caught it during the carnival procession. „At home, I buried the bear in the ground,“ he said. I asked him: „But the bear is white and it still looks clean, so it should be dirty?“. To which Malte replied: „No, only in the game, because our Anton died.“ „Who is Anton?“ „Our rabbit at home, he’s dead“, said Malte.
He then told me exactly what had happened. The rabbit couldn’t be caught in the evening and they left it outside overnight. A marten had caught the animal, killed it and left it bloody on the trampoline. The family then buried the rabbit together and even put up a small cross. A rabbit also died recently in the kindergarten, „Mo“. These two stories must have kept him very busy, so he acted out the experience at home. He was also able to tell me that he was very sad about the death of the two rabbits.

He not only deals with natural history topics, but is also sensitive in dealing with animals. Dealing with the topic of „death“ is one of his philosophical pursuits.

Interest in natural history topics and preoccupation with the environment are also shown by the following example:
Malte likes to play role-playing games, e.g. police, fire brigade and especially rubbish collection. He often brings his Playmobil rubbish truck from home and then, for example, wooden bricks are turned into rubbish. He also likes to play rubbish collection in the next room. Then the toys from the doll corner become rubbish that is hoarded in a corner, and even the furniture is „put out on the street for bulky waste“. Even simple empty cardboard boxes or animal dolls from Schleich (trademark) are converted for this game. He involves his playmates in this game and since he has great knowledge in this field, he is usually the game leader.
Even at home he has deliberately sorted out a toy of his, put it by the road, waited and watched until the bulky refuse picked it up. Unfortunately, another child beat him to it.  It took the toy for itself, which made Malte very upset (as told by his parents).

At breakfast, he often asked me which bin the rubbish, for example the yoghurt pot, belonged in. I then explained to him about waste separation: the yoghurt pot belongs in the yellow bin because it has a green dot. I showed him different products with the green dot and also explained paper waste and residual waste. He was particularly interested in the green dot.
He looked for more products at home and a few days later I saw him explaining the Green Dot to an older child, he was the „expert“ again.

Again, this shows a quick grasp, a good memory, great intrinsic motivation and preoccupation with ecological issues. In addition, his artistic originality is evident here; he uses many everyday materials for his play and reworks them. He acquires extensive knowledge by asking further questions and re-enacting everyday situations. He shows interest in technical processes, which keeps him busy for a long period of time.

His aggressive side

In a way, he also shows leadership skills as he leads the other children in his play. The problem with his kind of leadership, however, is that he wants to determine everything and leaves the other children no room for manoeuvre. He does not pay attention to the signals of other children or adults. This often leads to conflicts that can even become physical.

I can remember a situation when Malte and his friend Sarah (1 month older than Malte) played together for about an hour and a half: they built an enclosure for animals, then a „restaurant“ for the animals and then made up an invented menu for the animals. They had a lot of fun.

After a while, they moved to the big carpet together and started building something with Duplo separately. Since pick-up time was coming up, I asked them to clean up. They did so, but continued to play their respective games. They each had a box to put the Duplo pieces in. Sarah then got up and picked up a piece near Malte. Malte was so disturbed by this that he jumped up, shouted her name at her and hit her in the face with a large Duplo piece. Sarah started crying, completely confused, and I first had to comfort her.

Afterwards, I went to another room with Malte so that Sarah could clean up in peace and I could talk to Malte in peace. When I asked him why he had hurt Sarah, he replied that Sarah had annoyed him. But then do you have to hurt someone or can you talk to them? Both he and I were sad that I had to scold Malte. He then also wanted to clean up on his own, although I had offered him my help. Maybe that was his way of making amends.

Malte wants to determine as much as possible himself and sometimes behaves aggressively when something doesn’t go his way. In case of conflicts or tasks he doesn’t like, he can usually explain exactly what has disturbed him. Rules are then sometimes interpreted literally and circumvented in this way.

He also likes to play the clown, for example, he sometimes lets himself fall and sings while doing so, which is especially fun for the younger children. He also does this in the chair circle or morning circle where it disturbs others.

Morning circle leader

I suspect that he gets bored with the circles because he knows all the answers. He often has to hold back a lot so that he doesn’t blurt out the answers. The younger children don’t know the answers so quickly. That’s why I asked him if he would like to be the morning circle leader. He thought it was a great idea. I then suggested that he draw it on the „board of wishes“. He did it immediately by drawing the candle and the morning circle board and I had to write what he wanted. He then cut it out and put it on the board.

A few days later, Malte was allowed to be the morning circle leader, with my support, which he had specifically requested. He sat next to me and I informed my colleagues. He then gave the „commands“, so to speak, for example: everyone shakes hands or who is allowed to count. If I noticed that he didn’t know something, I supported him by whispering. That way, he didn’t have to take a back seat, but could decide for himself whether and how to help the children. Unfortunately, my colleagues were quite impatient and anticipated some things from him. We had probably talked about it too little beforehand.

(The example of other boys who showed their dissatisfaction with the morning circles can be found in the article Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement, in the sections about Malte – it’s a different Malte! – and Daniel).

Malte prefers to play with children of the same age or younger. Actually, only two children are his friends: Sarah (1 month older) and Till (1 year younger). But even they withdraw from him more often. Slowly, he is starting to play with older children as well, where his expertise helps him in many areas. He is appreciated and sought after as an „expert“.

He probably lacks children with the same interests and level of knowledge.

Malte therefore likes to play with adults. But he sometimes crosses boundaries with them, too. For example, he pulls so hard on my scarf as I walk by that I can’t breathe for a moment, or he runs into other parents‘ stomachs so hard that it hurts them. Is that cockiness or the desire for attention? I can’t classify all his behaviours yet.

Malte shows strengths

On the other hand, he can be very reliable when he does jobs for adults. He likes to help in the early morning service and fetches raw food on his own, which he is allowed to determine himself, or brings the telephone back to another group. It’s good to let him act independently.

I also have another example of good abstraction skills: Since the children were again very interested in cars, I took out a whole box full of them. In addition, I put a poster on the wall showing different models of different ages. Malte then started sorting out cars. A big part went into a corner and a few others into a box. At first I just watched him and didn’t understand what he was up to. Then he asked me if I wanted to buy a car. You could buy the models that were on the poster. He had chosen the cars that were most similar to the pictures. If there was no similar one, at least the colour was right. I was amazed and „bought“ two cars right away. They were then allowed to play with them on the car carpet. Other children came along and also wanted to buy cars. There was also discussion about whether the cars really looked the same. But he was able to convince everyone and „sold“ all the cars. Great idea!

You can see how well he can imagine things, how creative he is in his play and how adept he is at using language.

I also have another example of his musical intelligence: Rico banged a spoon against a bottle at lunch and made „music“ that way. He found out that an empty bottle sounds different from a full one. Since we work according to the situation-oriented approach, I spontaneously took up this topic the next day and went to our research room with our oldest children, carrying a bucket of water, an empty bottle for each child, a spoon, a funnel and a measuring cup. We gathered around a tub table and Rico told us what he had found out the day before. Then the children were given the task of filling their bottles to different heights with water. The second to last child had filled his bottle completely. Coincidentally, Malte was the last child and was now faced with the problem of how much water to fill his bottle with. He looked carefully at all the bottles and found an amount that was still missing between the others. I had it easier, my bottle remained empty. So we had filled 6 bottles. Everyone was now allowed to elicit sounds from his bottle one after the other and then we compared. Each bottle sounded different. Next, we made „music“ at the same time and then one of us had the idea to sing, „Guten Morgen, Frau Sonne“ 〈Good morning, Mrs. Sun!〉 so that the sun would finally come out (this winter was already very gloomy!). Everyone agreed that it sounded very nice. I still had the idea to play „Alle meine Entchen“ 〈All my little ducklings〉, the number of bottles and sounds happened to be suitable for it. I sang and played it to the children and they all wanted to copy it individually. Some needed support by pointing to the bottles, but Malte was able to copy the song correctly on his own right away by observing the other children. I was amazed.

Again, his quick comprehension and great memorisation skills were evident. He showed special attention span and intrinsic motivation.

But that was not the end of this special experience. I then had the idea to perform the song we had learned and our self-made „instruments“ in the circle of chairs. It was Friday, after all, and we always try to have a circle of chairs. The children were enthusiastic. No sooner said than done! We put the chairs together, got a table in the middle and prepared all the „instruments“. The other children were excited. Since Rico had been the initiator, he was allowed to perform something first. But Malte also performed „All my little ducklings“ alone, as the only one without assistance and without mistakes. Even some of the younger children wanted to try it out and songs they had made up themselves were played and sung.

My colleague then had the idea of bringing wine glasses, filling them with water and stroking the rim with a wet finger. The children were fascinated by the sounds and you could have heard a pin drop. Some children then tried to make these sounds too and were overwhelmed when they succeeded, including Malte.

I have to say that this was one of my best kindergarten days.

None of it was planned or pursued a specific goal. There was simply time and space to experiment and try things out. Everything was possible and in the end there were surprising insights.

With regard to Malte, I was amazed at how well he was able to engage with this topic and at no time did he want to play the clown. I think he was captivated by what was happening and was highly focused and engaged. He felt confident here and was able to perform in front of the whole group.

Malte also has a good eye for detail. We made fire engines with lots of children and hung them up in the cloakroom. He didn’t know how to make the car, So on his own initiative he picked up a book to use as a template. Then he picked out the details that were most important to him and got started. His car was made of red cardboard, the lights on top were blue, the ladder had to be silver and the windows were also in a certain place,… The two of us then made a road for the fire engines. I wanted to make the stripe on the road with black cardboard. But I wasn’t allowed to do that, because it’s really white!

Malte is very attentive to his environment and remembers details.

Recently, I filled out a questionnaire with Malte. By chance, the teacher from the „Robbers‘ Group“, who will be looking after him in the next kindergarten year, came along and went through the questionnaire with him again. It turned out that I had misunderstood something. He doesn’t just think it’s stupid when something he’s built is broken, but when anything is broken at all. And he had given „ambulance“ as his career wish. Without thinking, I wrote down ambulance driver. That wasn’t correct either. He specifically meant the paramedic who pushes the injured into the back of the car and takes care of them. We were then able to clarify that together. I learned from this how important it is to stay in dialogue with the child and not immediately make your own interpretations.

I was amazed how exactly Malte knew what he had told me. Here you can see his amazing memory once again.

What can I do for Malte?

I have planned to form a group with Malte and some other presumably more gifted children, which will meet regularly once a week. Malte should come into contact with children who „function“ in a similar way and have similar interests. If he is appropriately challenged and encouraged, I hope to see an improvement in the social area so that his behaviour towards other people becomes less aggressive. This is his behaviour that he stands out with and is associated with, so to speak „his pigeonhole“ into which he is put.

After consultation in the total team, we agreed on 4 children for this group. To find out their common interests, I have the children fill out a questionnaire. I have done this with two children so far.

In addition, I had the idea of training and using Malte as a „dispute mediator“. After all, he knows the rules very well and they are important to him. In addition, he has the language skills to convey them correctly. Maybe he will gain more empathy and be able to solve his own conflicts better.

Discovering talents

In this first practical work (in the IHVO course), we were to deal in particular with the Observational Chart by Joelle Huser.

In summary, I would tick the following points from this observational chart for Malte:

A General characteristics

    • General developmental advantage, great interest in letters and numbers, (e.g. tens trainer, rhyming workshop)
    • Quick perception and curiosity, (e.g. Green Dot)
    • Orientation towards adults, (e.g. rhyme workshop)
    • Amazing memory skills, (e.g. questionnaire)
    • Long attention span and strong self-motivation, (e.g. numbers)
    • Critical attitude towards own performance – high demands on oneself, (e.g. in AGs)
    • Urge for independence and autonomy, (e.g. helping adults)
    • Preoccupation with social, philosophical, political and ecological problems, (e.g. death of „Anton“)
    • The „taking literally“ and the demand for explanations, (e.g. conflicts)
    • Innovative use of materials – artistic originality, (e.g. rubbish collection)
    • Sense of humour and word play, (e.g. rhyming workshop)

B Characteristics of underachieving children

    • Aggressive, demanding or clown-like behaviour, (e.g. morning circle)

C Linguistic intelligence

    • Large vocabulary, (e.g. riding)
    • Good expressiveness, (e.g. cars)

D Mathematical – logical intelligence

    • Preference for ordering and counting activities, (e.g. Mini-LÜK)
    • Good ability to abstract – spatial reasoning, (e.g. cars)

E Inter- and intrapersonal intelligence

    • Particularly good observation and perception skills, (e.g. handicrafts)
    • Leadership skills, (e.g. morning circle leader)
    • Strong sense of justice – high sensitivity, (e.g. conflicts)

F Naturalistic intelligence

    • Depth and breadth of information, (e.g. rubbish)
    • Great knowledge of natural history topics, (e.g. animals)
    • Great knowledge of and interest in physical, technical and chemical processes, (e.g. photography, rubbish)

Overall, this would give Malte a score of 22, putting him in the range of a higher ability child.

Interestingly, I also gave the parents a Questionnaire for Parents to take home. They assessed their son similarly and ended up with the following questions:

Is our child above average gifted?

What should we do in this case?

What do we have to consider?

I have already answered yes to the first question, he is definitely a gifted child. I hope to find out the answers to the other questions in my further training (IHVO Certificate Course). In addition, I would like to help Malte to acquire more skills in social interaction, which is where he most urgently needs help and support.

You can read about what happens next with Malte in Five Children Form a Group and Follow Their Interests.

 

Date of publication in German: April 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see Imprint.

 

 

Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

by Hanna Vock

 

1 „She prefers to play by herself.“
2 „I guess he doesn’t really need friends.“

Sometimes it may be true, most of the time it is false.

In principle, gifted kindergarten children have the same social needs for playing together and for friendship as the other children. But inherent in these statements 1 and 2 is the assumption that the children behave this way because they don’t have these needs – a common fallacy. Unfortunately, there are many gifted adults who have adopted this fallacy over time and believe themselves that they can best manage on their own.

They have had too few good experiences: even as children, they were too often alone with their (good, creative) questions and thoughts, even when they were with others.

These statements from parents of young children are more accurate:

3 „Somehow she can’t do much with the other children.“
4 „He is always quickly disappointed when he thinks he has made a friend.“

Find the difference between statements 1 and 2 on the one hand and statements 3 and 4 on the other!

In 3 and 4, it is not the need that is negated, but the possibility of satisfying it.

The dilemma

I think it is very important to know and observe this difference when dealing with young gifted children, because quite different pedagogical actions are derived from it: We leave him/her alone, we keep challenging them to play with other children or: we help him/her to find children in the kindergarten with whom she/he can interact well, we involve her/him in challenging small group projects, etc. etc.
In chapter 4 of this manual you will find many practical examples of how this can be done.

Because the deeper understanding of this problem seems so important to us, the participants of the IHVO Certificate Courses are given the task to deal with a text that I consider very important and fundamental even 20 years after its publication. It is about excerpts from the book:

Barbara Schlichte-Hiersemenzel: Zu Entwicklungsschwierigkeiten hoch begabter Kinder und Jugendlicher in Wechselwirkung mit ihrer Umwelt 〈On Developmental Difficulties of Highly Gifted Children and Adolescents in Interaction with their Environment〉; published by the (German) Federal Ministry of Education and Research in 2001.

Here are a few brief key statements. They are taken from the copies that the participants received:

Schlichte-Hiersemenzel (2001a):
„If the child’s predispositions and urge to develop and the possibilities of the people around him differ too much, if they do not fit together very well, two basic human needs, the desire to develop and the desire to belong, can come into serious conflict with each other in the child and seriously disrupt his development. … The child’s self tries to reconcile both needs so that both are fulfilled in the best possible way. … There is thereby a dependence on the behaviour of the surrounding persons and from a very early age „a need for division of emotional and cognitive states in relation to the world“ (Dornes, Frühe Kindheit 〈Early Childhood〉, 1997).  „Sharing“ here is to be understood as „experiencing with each other“.  (p.10/11) End of quote. (Translation: Hanna Vock.)

Every very gifted person has to decide again and again at different times and in different situations whether they want to develop their giftedness unrestrained (even at the price of isolation) or whether they prefer to adapt to their environment and put the development of their giftedness on the back burner. Dealing with this dilemma is a lifelong process for highly gifted people, sometimes one tendency prevails, sometimes the other. It is important to note that even highly gifted kindergarten children are already struggling with this.

The child is in a dilemma when he or she has to choose between two possibilities, both of which feel uncomfortable and both of which (predictably to the knowledgeable observer) will lead to an unpleasant outcome: Either the child accepts feelings of loneliness and rejection or it neglects and denies its own abilities and interests.

The consequences are serious in both cases.

  1. Children who are rejected by other children because they are different – or who keep themselves away from other children because they are different – may become solitary, withdrawn, quiet in the group, or show off and show off their knowledge. All these behaviours can distance the child further from the other children and from building relationships. Many teachers are also sceptical of such children.
    If these behaviours become entrenched, it can mean the development of (internal or external) cynicism in the distant future. This cynicism arises from socially non-embedded feelings of superiority and suggests the devaluation of others.
  2. Many children, especially girls and more sensitive boys, permanently decide not to „stick out“ of the group they have ended up in. They want to belong and avoid making their cognitive superiority visible. This can solidify into a self-image in which the cognitive ambitions are suppressed and forgotten. Nevertheless, there are always situations in which they feel cognitively neglected.Their entire development can be decisively influenced by this denial; avoidance over a long period of time leads to the fact that challenges are (can) no longer be taken up because the practice and the self-confidence that grows out of it have been missed. An obvious example is that many very clever kindergarten teachers do not dare to present their good thoughts in front of a larger group. They just haven’t been able to practise it…

See also: Concealing Abilities and Interests

See: Confirm Intellectual Achievements of the children

But are we really faced with a dilemma here, i.e. an unsolvable dilemma?

If the gifted child has clever and empathetic „developmental helpers“ (parents, educators, teachers) then, at least theoretically, a third possibility opens up.

There is a way out of the dilemma.
But chance is rarely helpful.

Those who find themselves in a group (family of origin, kindergarten, friends, school, training, study, job, neighbourhood, old people’s home) in which there are other gifted or especially gifted people have better chances there than in a random mixture to feel comfortable in the social environment. This seems to be a crass assessment, but it is confirmed again and again.

See: Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence

Random mixing very rarely puts more than one gifted person in the same school class, work team or kindergarten group at the same time. Some circumstances are more favourable, others less so. The higher the intellectual demands at work, the more likely it is that gifted people will meet.
In kindergarten, for example, a highly gifted Syrian refugee child may find himself in a kindergarten group where all the other children will later attend a secondary school and some will not graduate from there. (The German Hauptschule is attended by children who are unable to gain admission to a Gymnasium.)

See on this: Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem.

A good approach to solving the dilemma is to install Integrative Focus Kindergartens for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School ChildrenHere, the gifted child also meets a random mixture as far as intelligence is concerned. However, according to the concept, there are also a few other gifted children in the group, and there are teachers who have undergone additional training in this area.

Elites

At this point, the accusation often appears that these are elitist ideas.

Therefore, I want to make it clear once again:

 

Gifted people are not better
or more valuable people,
they are just particularly intelligent.

I would like to see many highly gifted people reach influential positions in order to find intelligent solutions to problems – often this is not even apparent in the current reality.
Of course, it can’t just be about the level of intelligence – moral integrity and respect for all living beings and also inanimate nature is what I would wish a fairy godmother to add as 1st and 2nd wishes when it comes to occupying influential positions. But in 3rd place would come the wish for high intelligence and especially for the ability to think systemically, creatively and with foresight.

If such people represented the scientific, economic, educational (!), and political elites, I would not be so worried about the future of my grandchildren.

Self-determination

Gifted people who grow up in contact with other gifted people at an early age can – with the friendly support of their „developmental helpers“ – realise early on that they can exert an ever greater influence on the composition of their social environment as they grow older. They can selectively look for friends, consciously aim for a demanding grammar school (in German: Gymnasium) and then later for a demanding profession. They can also give intelligence a high priority for their long-term choice of partner.

Again and again I experience that people with sufficient intellectually satisfying contacts feel little urge to feel haughty; on the contrary, they can deal all the more calmly and respectfully even with less intelligent people, for example with neighbours or colleagues. But if such satisfying contacts are lacking, feelings of superiority can become toxic.

Supporting young children

Young children do not have this opportunity to consciously shape their environment. In order for young children to find a way out of the dilemma early on, i.e. to experience appropriate social contacts and adequate development, they need empathetic developmental helpers.

In addition to parents, these are kindergarten teachers who support them at an early age, because the sad lurching in the dilemma leads the children onto unpleasant paths and to unhealthy behaviour, self-views and self-convictions.

Some gifted children are lucky

There are children who can follow a privileged developmental path; because one or even more of the following conditions apply to their lives:

    • They have parents, or at least one parent, who is also highly gifted and also educationally talented and interested. They are therefore understood, supported and encouraged at an early age in the family. (I have had the opportunity to meet many of these parents during my parent counselling sessions.)
    • In the kindergarten, the child meets one or even more teachers who recognise the child without prejudice, deal with it intelligently, address it on its cognitive level and react with fascination rather than deterrence or uncertainty. With great luck, the kindergarten teachers will even be familiar with the advancement of gifted kindergarten children.
    • The child may experience something similar in its primary and secondary school. There, too, it will meet ambitious and inspiring teachers and at least a few classmates who are just as gifted.

Even if all three of these conditions are met – which is like hitting the lottery – there is no guarantee for a happy and successful development, there are too many other conditions and stumbling blocks that play a role (see: Personal Competences).

But:
These prerequisites are,
even taken individually,
very important factors!

In the luckiest case, the spiral of development turns steadily upwards: The gifted find mentors and also professional fields of activity that correspond to their intellectual potential.

And sometimes such adult „lucky children“ cannot understand all the „fuss“ about early advancement (already in kindergarten!). They see the world a bit like the French queen Marie Antoinette in the 18th century, who is said to have said about the starving poor in her kingdom: If they have no bread, let them eat brioche (sweet French pastry)!

Unfortunately, the reality for many gifted children is that they do not go through any of the life stages listed above with understanding and appropriate support. This makes the insights (and then also the practical communicative skills) of kindergarten teachers all the more valuable.

**********

As a representative of many good thoughts on this complex, the following are excerpts from the assignments written by course participants during their time on the IHVO Certificate Course.

This is what Heike Brandt wrote:

In the article published by the Federal Ministry (by Hiersemenzel), the psychological distress of gifted children is described, which can arise through the encounter with the environment, if the environment follows a uniform pattern and is not concerned with individual support.

Due to their higher perceptive faculty, their faster learning speed and due to their more complex and deeper thought processes, gifted children have difficulties finding like-minded people in their immediate environment (kindergarten and school) with whom they can exchange their thoughts and ideas, by whom these can be understood and mirrored.

The author Hiersemenzel describes that gifted children are conspicuous by their joy of communication and their more complex trains of thought and are often perceived as disruptive by classmates and teachers who cannot comprehend their trains of thought. Being called „nerds“ (or even bulling) or disciplinary measures often exclude the gifted from the community.

Highly gifted people also have the need to belong to a group. This creates a struggle between two basic needs, on the one hand the urge to develop and on the other hand the sense of belonging. (I want to be like the others.) Often they adapt in favour of belonging, do not want to stand out, atrophy in the intellectual field (sometimes even switch off this part of the personality), already acquired abilities are denied or bad grades are deliberately written.

Thus a mental predicament arises due to constant underchallenge, boredom, dissimulation of the personality and great self-control. This process takes a lot of energy. The consequences are often aggression, loss of joie de vivre, physical breakdowns, apathy, loss of interest in activities that were otherwise enjoyable after the school or kindergarten day, and even suicidal thoughts.

The author Hiersemenzel describes that gifted children feel their time at school, which they have to attend for legal reasons, as boring, as unused time or even as a prison.

Information from a parent interview:

The processes described in the article were confirmed to me by a father in a conversation when we happened to talk about the school situation of his son, who is now attending second grade. He had almost lost interest in school and was withdrawing more and more. He had reduced his ability to calculate up to 100 in his head and was doing mental arithmetic up to 10.

When the parents shared their observations with the teacher, she described the pupil as unfocused and restless, not showing his maths skills in her classroom. She therefore said that he should first acquire the basic skills.

The father then gave his son a difficult task to calculate at home, which he solved in a concentrated and calm manner.

My thoughts for practical work in kindergarten:

The article deepened the insights I had already heard in the training and now spoke to me on an emotional level, as it contains many examples of the situation of gifted children. For my pedagogical work, it has once again become clear to me that I can also better integrate the skills of the gifted children into the group by letting results from „extra tasks“ flow back into the group.
In this way, the gifted child is affirmed and experiences belonging. I also find it important that the kindergarten teacher praises good ideas in front of the group or one-on-one, shows the group the skills of the gifted child and explains their benefit for the group.

***********

Renate Ashraf wrote:

I find Mrs. Schlichte-Hiersemenzel’s explanations and case studies significant and convincing. Her claims are absolutely justified.

The two fundamental needs of children and adolescents are, on the one hand, that of self-development and, on the other, that of belonging. In the case of gifted children, the need for intellectual development is naturally particularly strong. In kindergarten and school, this need is hardly met, as the staff tends to orient itself towards the majority, towards children with average intelligence. Teachers also lack the necessary training for dealing with the highly gifted.

Furthermore, the gifted child makes himself unpopular with kindergarten teachers, school teachers and classmates with its intellectual superiority and thirst for knowledge. It is often called a „nerd“ and labelled an outsider. This in turn affects its strong need to belong. It would like to belong to a group in a „normal“ way (like any other child). And only as an equal and respected member of the group would it find the security in life that it needs with its still unstable personality.

As can be seen very clearly in Mrs. Hiersemenzel’s text, the two fundamental needs of the gifted child, the desire to develop and the desire to belong, are in conflict with each other, which at first sight seems insoluble. I find this conflict so tragic, because no matter what the individual chooses, it has negative consequences for him or her. If the gifted child chooses self-development, it means renouncing belonging and vice versa.

The gifted child senses that he or she has to make a choice. Since social acceptance is usually more important than intellectual gain, they often cut back on self-development to a large extent. This has serious consequences: Resignation and dislike of school spread, self-esteem and joie de vivre are clearly reduced, depressive moods occur and psychosomatic complaints are possible („deformation of the personality“). Thus, the gifted child often pays a high price for gaining a sense of belonging.

The onset of resignation is particularly unfortunate in the kindergarten years because it is so formative, and in the late latency period when a pupil’s joy of learning and willingness to perform are normally at their highest (5th/6th grade). For me, this circumstance is actually the reason why I am doing this training. I want to clarify and explain this conflict to my colleagues (and many other teachers as well). Once you understand it, you will approach these children in a completely different way.

*******

And Bettina Ulrich wrote:

After entering kindergarten, gifted children experience that they are different, think differently, speak differently, (want to) play differently than their peers. If this otherness leads to (self-) isolation or exclusion, possibly also to devaluation of their person (which fortunately does not always happen), they suffer from this situation in the kindergarten group. The situation represents a crisis that they find difficult to overcome on their own – and if they do, it often takes a very long time….

This is where efforts by the kindergarten teachers come in to bring the child into better contact with the other children in the group. If the kindergarten teacher has a good „connection“ with the child, the child naturally wants the kindergarten teacher first and foremost as a play and conversation partner, as a kind of substitute for the children with whom communication does not work well.

Kindergarten teachers who have insight into the child’s distress respond to these wishes as far as their time allows….

Everything that Jacob (name changed) (4;5 years) builds has to do with the stories he is listening to at home (>Tabaluga<, >Jim Knopf<, >Räuber Hotzenplotz<). He tells me about them in great detail, and I have to make sure that I have enough time for him. If he talks to me on the side, he runs after me and talks non-stop, whether I am listening or not. …

A little later I recognise: He had little contact with the children… Social contacts have become very important to him now, and he definitely wants to belong…

So now Jacob is going through a phase of struggling for friendship and to belong. He is successful, and that is good for his self-esteem and social development. It is to be feared that sooner or later the dichotomy will arise in him, which is that Jacob will become increasingly aware that he cannot share his interests and his intellectual demands enough with the friends and playmates he has won.

Or that his social contacts even irritatingly hinder or prevent the development of his interests. Then the next crisis could follow in which he needs help….

When gifted children discover other children they are fascinated by (these children are often also particularly gifted), they may court these children with great energy and persistence. Gifted children who also have good social skills sometimes manage to make such a friendship on their own. Others need help and may not even be able to recognise similarly gifted and interested children in the kindergarten, let alone make contact.
Jacob managed to make an older boy in the group his friend.

**********

Date of publication in German: March 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint.

Philosophising about the Soul

by Heike Breuer

 

Preliminary considerations / goals

In this last practical task, the aim is to incorporate the practical and theoretical contents experienced in the IHVO course. It is important to put this into practice in a meaningful way. This can be (once again) in the form of a project that I carry out in a small group. This should tie in with the interests and playing and learning needs of the child under observation and offer him real challenges. The aim is for the gifted child to have positive experiences of working with at least one other child in the project.

… in brief …

The author helps seven preschool children to approach the concept of „soul“ mentally. She asks the children some questions – and the children’s answers are imaginative and full of ideas. Everyone listens to each other attentively.
In the second part of the project, the children put their ideas about the soul on canvases with brushes and paint; here, too, it becomes apparent that the pictures are quite different from one individual to the next.

In my last practical task, I am also able to stay with my observation child, whom I have chosen from the beginning. Let’s call it a successful coincidence that I am allowed to accompany the child for the entire two years under this theme. It really makes me very happy. Leona is now 6 years old.

I must have thought for two or even three weeks about what I would like to do at the end of the training. Since I like project work in the kindergarten very much, it was quickly clear that it should be another project. But which topic?
Since the project „Under the Sea“ is still running in the whole group, it was clear relatively quickly that it would be a small group project. Since Leona is a pre-school child, I decided to make it a project for the pre-school children.
I still had the question of which topic to choose. So first I had to listen carefully to the children and observe them to feel where their current interests lay.

One boy in the preschool group always has problems with his social behaviour and is often very unfriendly, even physical with the other children. This is always a topic of conversation in the morning/final circle because the other children complain about him. So I thought to myself that the project might have something to do with feelings. During my reflections, the great-grandmother of a preschool child passed away and the children asked questions and talked about where one is when one has died. The children had very different ideas and knowledge about this.

The word soul also came up in this context. That was decisive for me.
I wanted to philosophise with the children on the subject of the soul, using the book „Der Seelenvogel“ by Michael Snunit and Na’ama Golomb from Carlsen Verlag. (See: picture books, non-fiction books…)

I was aware that this would not necessarily be easy, but I also like to tackle somewhat more challenging topics. I was also curious to hear what the children had to say. Of course, I also hoped for a special challenge for Leona.

My goals in this were:
To think about the concept of soul
To express thoughts and feelings linguistically and creatively
Encourage imagination
To develop empathy
To strengthen self-confidence
Learning new contents
Re-forming and networking synapses

Day 1

The first session was to be a round of talks to introduce the topic. For this purpose I practised the following questions:

    • What actually is the soul?
    • Where is the soul?
    • Where does the soul come from?
    • Can we live without the soul?
    • Does the soul have eyes, ears or a mouth?
    • What does the soul do?
    • Is the soul connected to the heart?
    • Can the soul get cracks?
    • Can the soul also heal again?

I was really looking forward to our first meeting and was very curious to see what would come out of it. Was it really possible to philosophise about the soul with 5- to 6-year-old children? To be honest, I was a bit excited.

We went into the next room and the children sat down on the mattresses arranged in a semicircle on the floor. (The children already know this from our lunchtime reading session.) On this day, 7 out of 8 preschool children were present.

One boy asked, „What are we doing here, Heike?“
I said, „I want to talk, tell and think with you.“
A girl asked, „About what?“
I said, „About the soul.“

As if shot out of a pistol, Leona said, „I know that, that has to do with God and that’s in heaven and that’s what you light candles for. I did that with my mum when my grandma died.“
Already we had the introduction.

What followed, the conversation, the discussion was just terrific. I had formulated different questions, I started with the question

„What is the soul?“

Cedric
, the boy who always stands out socially emotionally, said, „It’s inside a person, you can’t live without the soul.“
Leona: „When you are dead the soul goes away, I think to heaven – my mum said“.
Eren: „Without a soul we can’t grow, then we always stay small“.
Caren: „Death has something to do with the soul“.
Two children, Melvin, a bright boy, and Rena, a very shy, quiet girl, listened carefully, but did not comment even when I asked them directly. But that was completely OK with me.

When I asked them
where the soul could be found,
they all agreed that it was somewhere inside us. But where exactly, the children did not agree.
Leona: „I think it’s in our heart, I can tell because sometimes my heart hurts.
Cedric: „I’m sure it’s when you’re not feeling well“.
Leona: „Yes, when I’m sad“.
Eren: „Maybe the soul also lives in our head and is protected by bones“.
Leona: „Yes, it has to be protected by the bones, because it’s such a soft thing“.

I then asked more specifically,
„What do you imagine your soul looks like?“

Leona: „Maybe my soul looks like a zebra. It’s really soft and protected by the bones and I think zebras are just beautiful.“
Cedric: „My soul looks like a flower and it always grows“.
Eren: „My soul looks like a sponge that absorbs everything“.
Caren: „My soul looks like a circle….maybe“.
Melvin: „I have no idea what my soul looks like“.
Rena: „I don’t know“.
Emmily: „My soul looks like an ocean“.

What great answers these were from 5 to 6 year old children! I was deeply impressed. When I asked
if we could live without a soul,
the children said:
Cedric: „No, we can’t live without a soul, then we would have died directly“.
Leona: „Without a soul we cannot grow, then we always remain small“.
Caren: „The soul is in the heart or in the brain or everywhere“.

Then I asked the children
if the soul had eyes, ears or a mouth.

Leona: „Yes, of course, the soul has eyes, ears and a mouth…I think“.
Caren: „No, the soul is like a skin, it can’t speak…only hear or look“.

You could see that all the children were thinking. But the others did not comment. Melvin shrugged his shoulders and said: „I don’t know“.
In the meantime, 30 minutes had passed and the children were still excited about it.

When I asked the children
what the soul does,
they all agreed quite quickly that the soul is there to make us feel good.
Cedric: „It’s inside a person“.
Leona: „But if I’m not well, my soul is not well either“.

I asked: „Can you see the soul“?

Emmily: „Yes, the doctor can see the soul…on the screen“.
Eren: „I think the doctor can only see the bones….or not“?
Caren: „But there is another device, the doctor can look into the body“.
Cedric: „Yes, and then he can also see the soul, I know that.“
Melvin: „I don’t know that“.

I ask: „Children, is the soul connected to the heart?“

Emmily: „Of course the soul is connected to the heart and that’s what makes you love someone“.
Cedric: „Yes, I know that, and the soul also makes us think or worry…then we are happy or sad or angry“.

Awesome! Even now, as I write it down, I realise how incredibly fascinating it is to philosophise with children on such an abstract topic. What great children! Meanwhile, I was – and still am – thrilled and had a lot of fun. There were also some very interesting answers to my last question from the children.

„Can the soul get cracks? …if so, can the soul also heal again?“

Caren: „You feel it in your stomach, then you have a strange feeling…I think“.
Cedric: „You can also break the soul, and when it is broken, it becomes evil like thieves and burglars.
Emmily: „Evil people are evil because they have an evil soul“.
Leona: „Children are born with kind souls and become evil souls when they are treated badly by their parents“.
Emmily: „The soul can heal again, with a cold pack or maybe medicine“.

That was to be the final sentence of our philosophers‘ round. By now 45 minutes had passed and the children in turn demanded closure and wanted to go out into the fresh air to play. I told the children that I thought it was great how they participated.
„Tomorrow I would like to look at the book of the soul bird with you.“ The children were amazed that there was a book about it and wanted to know directly what the book was like. I explained that we would meet here again tomorrow to look at the book. Some of the children were already full of anticipation.

Day 2

Some of the preschool children were already there that morning when I started my shift at the kindergarten at 08:30. Leona and Emmily rushed right up to me and asked if we were going to look at the book about the soul bird. After the morning circle, I called the pre-school children together and took them to the next room. The children sat down on the mattresses and waited anxiously.

I showed them the book about the soul bird and Leona was the first to respond. She asked, „Why is there a bird like that, does the soul look like a bird?“
And we were in the middle of it again.

Eren: „Maybe the person who wrote the book thinks so. It’s possible, isn’t it, Heike?“
I replied, „Yes, it’s possible.“
Melvin: „Then let’s read what it says now“.
I replied, „That’s a good idea. We’ll have a look at it“.

And what can I say. Once again, I was so completely enthralled by children that I can hardly put it into words. I would have loved to have had a hidden camera with me. The children were able to put themselves in the story very well and empathise with the soul bird. The boy in particular, who always has problems with the other children because of his social behaviour, found himself emotionally involved in so many passages. He was also able to name it and said: „Yes, that’s how my soul feels sometimes and then I don’t feel so good“. It’s really great that this boy in particular can name his feelings so well, but unfortunately doesn’t always know how to put it into practice.

The children were fascinated by how the soul bird, standing on one leg, turns the key with the other leg to unlock his individual drawers.
Leona said: „I think that’s great, I’d like to open my drawers like that too.“

I asked her, „What’s in your drawers, Leona? Do you want to tell us?“
Leona: „Yes, I would like to. I also have the drawers that the soul bird has, and also one for my most secret secret. I don’t tell anyone that. But I also have a drawer to help others“.

The other children then also told what was in their drawers. The children had great ideas about what could be found in the drawers. It was a lively exchange among themselves. The children talked a lot, except for my very quiet girl. She only said something when I addressed her directly.

Day 3 to 6

Over the next few days I painted the soul bird with the children. I provided the children with canvases, paints, brushes, glitter and feathers. Each child was allowed to creatively depict their own soul bird. The children seemed very happy. Two children could paint at a time in the next room. Here, too, the results were very impressive.

The children all painted a bird on their canvas first. All the children, except Melvin, then painted their own soul to it in some way.

Melvin’s picture:

Cedric, for example, painted a flower because his soul looks like a flower that keeps growing.

Cedric’s picture:

Emmily’s picture:

Leona has painted a heart hold by the soul bird. Inside is her soul, which looks like a zebra. Both are eating an ice cream together, which has been painted above. On the right of the picture you can see the house of the soul bird, which is also inside us and where the bird lives.

Leona’s picture:

Caren has depicted her soul as a red circle with glitter.
Caren’s picture:

When Rena, the quiet, shy girl, painted her picture, all the other children watched because, according to the other children, she is particularly good at painting. They all wanted to see what a great picture the „painting artist“ was making. This made Rena very proud.

Rena’s picture:

Eren spent a particularly long time on his painting, almost an hour. He put a lot of thought into it and told a lot of stories. It was a great pleasure to watch him.

Eren’s picture:

Reflection:

I would say that I have achieved my goal. All the children were very interested in the topic and were very motivated. Since the children were given the topic, they were also very active in it.
They were able to develop basic skills, for example linguistic and cognitive skills, by discussing and talking a lot with each other.

Leona, my observation child, was a particularly active participant because, on the one hand, she is quick on the uptake and can put things into practice quickly and also express them very well, and on the other hand because she is always very good at creativity and design.
Rena, the shy girl, was the only one who didn’t seem to have her head in the game when we were philosophising. In a larger group, she always says nothing of her own accord. Only when addressed directly and personally does she respond, but also reservedly. In individual situations, like when painting, she sometimes talks of her own accord, but also rather little. Nevertheless, I think that even the quiet children can take something away from this.

At the children’s request, we will continue to work on this project for a while. The plan is for each child to bring a cardboard box, a crate or a tin. We will paint and decorate these. Small folded boxes, the drawers, will be placed inside. The children can put things in them that are important to them, or even their most secret secrets.

 

Date of Publishing in German: March 2021
Copyright © Heike Breuer, see Imprint.

 

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05.11.07 Welches Spielmaterial brauchen hoch begabte Kinder?

24.09.07 Wie soll Schule mit Hochbegabten umgehen?

10.09.07 Grundideen der Mathematik

10.09.07 Literaturverzeichnis

05.05.07 Impressum /Copyright

05.05.07 Hinweise zum Gebrauch des Handbuchs

05.05.07 Wie entsteht das Handbuch?

05.05.07 Wer hat dieses Handbuch ermöglicht?

05.05.07 Um welche Kinder geht es?

05.05.07 Begriffsbestimmung Hochbegabung

05.05.07 Begabung oder Hochbegabung?

05.05.07 Den Begriff Hochbegabung vorsichtig verwenden

05.05.07 Bereiche hoher Begabungen

05.05.07 Feststellen von Hochbegabung

05.05.07 Erkennen durch Beobachten

05.05.07 Arten der Beobachtung

05.05.07 Begabungsdiagnostik was ist das?

05.05.07 Mögliche Gründe für die Durchführung einer Begabungsdiagnostik

05.05.07 Gedanken, Sorgen, Ängste von Eltern und pädagogischen Fachkräften im Zusammenhang mit einer Testung

05.05.07 Standards für die Durchführung diagnostischer Testverfahren

05.05.07 Zum Denken und Fühlen hoch begabter Vorschulkinder

05.05.07 Bedingungsmodell: Entfaltung von Hochbegabung

05.05.07 Club der starken Mädchen

05.05.07 Mathematische Begabungsförderung im Kindergarten

05.05.07 Projekt: Zeit

05.05.07 Naturwissenschaftliche Experimente mit besonders interessierten Kindern

05.05.07 Kommentierte Literaturliste zu naturwissenschaftlichen Experimenten mit besonders interessierten Vorschulkindern

05.05.07 Lesen und Schreiben in der Kita

05.05.07 Einsatz von Eltern als Experten

05.05.07 Eltern-Fragebogen für Kinder, die neu im Kindergarten sind

05.05.07 Dieser Fragebogen steht auch in folgenden Sprachen zur Verfügung: Englisch Polnisch Französisch Türkisch Spanisch

05.05.07 Eltern-Fragebogen für Kinder, die 4 bis 6 Jahre alt sind

05.05.07 Dieser Fragebogen steht auch in folgenden Sprachen zur Verfügung: Englisch Polnisch Französisch Türkisch Spanisch

05.05.07 Kontakt zu Grundschulen den Übergang positiv gestalten

05.05.07 IHVO-Zertifikatskurse

05.05.07 Teamarbeit – Wie kann ich mein Team für das Thema Hochbegabung begeistern?

05.05.07 Der Weg der Städtischen Kita Sedanstraße zur Integrativen Kita für Hochbegabtenförderung

Philosophieren über die Seele

von Heike Breuer

 

Vorüberlegungen / Ziele

In dieser letzten Praxisaufgabe geht es darum, die im IHVO-Kurs erfahrenen praktischen und theoretischen Inhalte einzubringen. Wichtig dabei ist die sinnhafte Umsetzung in die Praxis. Dies kann (nochmals) in Form eines Projektes sein, das ich in einer Kleingruppe durchführe. Dieses soll an den Interessen und Spiel- und Lernbedürfnissen des Beobachtungskindes anknüpfen und ihm echte Herausforderungen bieten. Dabei ist anzustreben, dass das hoch begabte Kind im Projekt positive Erfahrungen der Zusammenarbeit mit mindestens einem anderen Kind macht.

… kurz gefasst …

Die Autorin hilft sieben Vorschulkindern, sich gedanklich dem Begriff „Seele“ zu nähern. Sie stellt den Kindern einige Fragen – und die Antworten der Kinder sind ideenreich und fantasievoll. Alle hören sich gegenseitig aufmerksam zu.
Im zweiten Teil des Projektes bringen die Kinder ihre Ideen von der Seele mit Pinsel und Farbe auf Leinwände; auch hier zeigt sich, dass die Bilder durchaus individuell verschieden ausfallen.

Auch bei meiner letzten Praxisaufgabe ist es mir möglich, bei meinem Beobachtungskind zu bleiben, das ich von Anfang an ausgewählt habe. Nennen wir es eine gelungene Fügung, dass ich das Kind die gesamten zwei Jahre unter diesem Thema begleiten darf. Es freut mich wirklich sehr. Leona ist mittlerweile 6 Jahre alt.

Ich habe bestimmt zwei oder sogar drei Wochen überlegt, was ich zum Abschluss der Fortbildung machen möchte. Da ich die Projektarbeit in der Kita sehr mag, war schnell klar, dass es noch ein Projekt werden sollte. Aber welches Thema und mit wie vielen und mit welchen Kindern?
Da in der Gesamtgruppe noch das Projekt „Unter dem Meer“ läuft, war relativ schnell klar, dass es ein Kleingruppenprojekt wird. Da Leona ein Vorschulkind ist, habe ich mich dazu entschieden, ein Projekt für die Vorschulkinder daraus zu machen.
Stellte sich mir immer noch die Frage, zu welchem Thema. Also musste ich erst einmal den Kindern genau zuhören und sie beobachten, um zu spüren, wo ihre momentanen Interessen lagen.

Ein Junge aus der Vorschulgruppe hat immer wieder Probleme mit seinem Sozialverhalten und ist oft sehr unfreundlich, auch schon mal handgreiflich gegenüber den anderen Kindern. Das ist auch immer wieder Gesprächsthema im Morgen/Abschlusskreis, da sich die anderen Kinder über ihn beschweren. Daraufhin dachte ich mir, das Projekt könnte etwas mit Gefühlen zu tun haben. Während meiner Überlegungen verstarb die Uroma eines Vorschulkindes und die Kinder stellten Fragen und unterhielten sich darüber, wo man ist, wenn man gestorben ist. Die Kinder hatten sehr unterschiedliche Vorstellungen und Kenntnisse darüber.

In diesem Zusammenhang tauchte auch das Wort Seele auf. Das war für mich ausschlaggebend.
Ich wollte mit den Kindern philosophieren zum Thema „Seele“ und dabei das Buch „Der Seelenvogel“ von Michael Snunit und Na´ama Golomb vom Carlsen Verlag zu Hilfe nehmen. (Siehe: Bilderbücher, Sachbücher…)

Mir war klar, dass das nicht unbedingt einfach werden würde, aber ich gehe auch gerne etwas anspruchsvollere Themen an. Außerdem war ich auf die Aussagen der Kinder gespannt. Ich erhoffte mir natürlich auch eine besondere Herausforderung für Leona.

Meine Ziele dabei waren:
Über den Begriff Seele nachdenken
Gedanken und Gefühle sprachlich und kreativ ausdrücken
Fantasie fördern
Empathiefähigkeit entwickeln
Selbstbewusstsein stärken
Neue Inhalte lernen
Synapsen neu bilden und vernetzen

Tag 1

Die erste Einheit sollte eine Gesprächsrunde zum Einstieg in das Thema sein. Dazu habe ich mir folgende Fragen überlegt:

    • Was ist eigentlich die Seele?
    • Wo ist die Seele?
    • Woher kommt die Seele?
    • Können wir ohne die Seele leben?
    • Hat die Seele Augen, Ohren oder einen Mund?
    • Was macht die Seele?
    • Ist die Seele mit dem Herzen verbunden?
    • Kann die Seele Risse bekommen?
    • Kann die Seele auch wieder heilen?

Ich freute mich sehr auf unser erstes Treffen und war total gespannt, was dabei herauskommen würde. Ließ sich wirklich mit 5- bis 6-jährigen Kinder über die Seele philosophieren? Ehrlich gesagt war ich ein bisschen aufgeregt.

Wir gingen in den Nebenraum und die Kinder setzten sich auf die im Halbkreis angeordneten Matratzen auf den Boden. (Das kennen die Kinder bereits aus unserer mittäglichen Vorleserunde.) An diesem Tag waren 7 von 8 Vorschulkindern anwesend.

Ein Junge fragte: „Was machen wir denn hier, Heike?“
Ich sagte: „Ich möchte mich mit euch unterhalten, erzählen und nachdenken.“
Ein Mädchen fragte: „Worüber denn?“
Ich sagte: „Über die Seele.“
Wie aus der Pistole geschossen sagte Leona: „Das kenne ich, das hat mit Gott zu tun und das ist im Himmel und dafür zündet man Kerzen an. Das habe ich schon mit meiner Mama gemacht, als meine Oma gestorben ist.“
Schon hatten wir den Einstieg.

Das was danach folgte, das Gespräch, die Diskussion war einfach grandios. Ich hatte verschiedene Fragestellungen formuliert, begonnen habe ich mit der Frage
„Was ist die Seele?“
Cedric, der Junge der immer wieder sozial emotional auffällt, sagte: „Das ist in einem Menschen drin, ohne die Seele kann man nicht leben.“
Leona: „Wenn man tot ist, geht die Seele weg, ich glaube in den Himmel – hat meine Mama gesagt“.
Eren: „Ohne Seele können wir nicht wachsen, dann bleiben wir immer klein“.
Caren: „Der Tod hat was mit der Seele zu tun“.
Zwei Kinder, Melvin ein aufgeweckter Junge, und Rena, ein sehr schüchternes, ruhiges Mädchen, hörten genau zu, äußerten sich auch auf meine direkte Nachfrage nicht dazu. Das war aber auch völlig o.k. für mich.

Auf meine Frage, wo denn die Seele zu finden sei, waren sich die Kinder einig, dass sie irgendwo in uns drin ist. Aber wo genau, da waren die Kinder sich nicht einig.
Leona: „Ich glaube die ist in unserem Herz, ich merke das, weil manchmal tut mein Herz weh“.
Cedric: „Das ist bestimmt dann, wenn es dir nicht gut geht“.
Leona: „ Ja, wenn ich traurig bin“.
Eren: „Vielleicht wohnt die Seele auch in unserem Kopf und wird von Knochen geschützt“.
Leona: „Ja, die muss ja von den Knochen geschützt werden, weil das ist so ein weiches Ding“.

Ich fragte daraufhin genauer nach: „Wie stellt ihr euch vor, dass eure Seele aussieht?“
Leona: „Vielleicht sieht meine Seele wie ein Zebra aus. Die ist ganz weich und wird von den Knochen geschützt und Zebras finde ich einfach schön“.
Cedric: „Meine Seele sieht wie eine Blume aus und die wächst immer“.
Eren: „Meine Seele sieht wie ein Schwamm aus, der alles aufsaugt“.
Caren: „Meine Seele sieht wie ein Kreis aus….vielleicht“.
Melvin: „Ich habe keine Idee, wie meine Seele aussieht“.
Rena: „Ich weiß es nicht“.
Emmily: „Meine Seele sieht wie ein Meer aus“.

Was waren das für tolle Antworten von 5- bis 6-jährigen Kindern! Ich war tief beeindruckt. Auf meine Frage, ob wir denn ohne Seele leben können meinten die Kinder:
Cedric: „Nein, ohne Seele können wir nicht leben, dann sind wir direkt gestorben“.
Leona: „Ohne Seele können wir nicht wachsen, dann bleiben wir immer klein“.
Caren: „Die Seele ist im Herz oder im Gehirn oder überall“.

Dann fragte ich die Kinder ob die Seele denn Augen, Ohren oder einen Mund hätte.
Leona: „Ja klar, die Seele hat Augen, Ohren und einen Mund…glaube ich“.
Caren: „Nein, die Seele ist wie eine Haut, die kann nicht sprechen…nur hören oder schauen“.

Man sah, dass alle Kinder überlegten. Die anderen äußerten sich aber nicht dazu. Melvin zuckte mit den Schultern und sagte: „Keine Ahnung“.
Mittlerweile waren schon 30 Minuten vergangen und die Kinder waren immer noch begeistert bei der Sache.

Als ich die Kinder fragte, was denn die Seele macht, waren sich alle recht schnell einig, dass die Seele dafür da ist, das es uns gut geht.
Cedric: „Das ist in einem Menschen drin“.
Leona: „Aber wenn es mir nicht gut geht, geht es meiner Seele auch nicht gut“.

Ich fragte: „Kann man die Seele denn sehen“?
Emmily: „Ja, der Doktor kann die Seele sehen…auf dem Bildschirm“.
Eren: „Ich glaube der Doktor kann nur die Knochen sehen….oder nicht“?
Caren: „Da gibt es aber noch so einen Apparat, da kann der Doktor in den Körper gucken“.
Cedric: „Ja, und dann sieht der auch die Seele, das weiß ich“.
Melvin: „Das weiß ich nicht“.

Ich frage: „Kinder, ist denn die Seele mit dem Herzen verbunden?
Emmily: „Natürlich ist die Seele mit dem Herz verbunden und die macht, dass man einen liebt“.
Cedric: „Ja, das weiß ich, und die Seele macht uns auch Gedanken oder Sorgen…dann sind wir froh oder traurig oder wütend“.

Wahnsinn! Selbst jetzt, als ich es aufschreibe, merke ich, wie unglaublich faszinierend man mit Kindern zu so einem abstrakten Thema philosophieren kann. Was für tolle Kinder! Ich war währenddessen – und bin es immer noch – begeistert und hatte auch selbst viel Freude daran. Auf meine letzte Frage gab es auch noch mal sehr interessante Antworten von den Kindern.

Kann die Seele Risse bekommen?…wenn ja, kann die Seele auch wieder heilen?
Caren: „Das spürt man dann im Bauch, dann hat man ein komisches Gefühl…glaube ich“.
Cedric: „Die Seele kann man auch brechen, und wenn die dann gebrochen ist, dann wird die böse wie Diebe und Einbrecher“.
Emmily: „Böse Menschen sind böse, weil sie eine böse Seele haben“.
Leona: „Die Kinder werden mit lieben Seelen geboren und werden böse Seelen, wenn sie von den Eltern schlecht behandelt werden“.
Emmily: „Die Seele kann wieder heilen, mit einem Kühlakku oder vielleicht Medizin“.

Das sollte der Schlusssatz unserer Philosophenrunde sein. Mittlerweile waren 45 Minuten vergangen, und die Kinder forderten ihrerseits den Abschluss und wollten an die frische Luft zum Spielen. Ich sagte den Kindern, dass ich es toll fand, wie sie mitgemacht haben. „Morgen würde ich gerne mit euch das Buch vom Seelenvogel anschauen.“ Die Kinder waren erstaunt, dass es ein Buch dazu gab, und wollten am liebsten direkt wissen, wie das Buch aussieht. Ich erklärte, dass wir uns morgen hier wieder zusammenfinden würden, um das Buch anzuschauen. Manche Kinder waren schon voller Vorfreude.

Tag 2

Einige der Vorschulkinder waren an diesem Morgen schon da, als ich um 08:30 Uhr in der Kita meinen Dienst begann. Leona und Emmily stürmten direkt auf mich zu und fragten, ob wir uns denn jetzt das Buch vom Seelenvogel anschauen würden. Ich sagte ihnen, dass wir nach dem Morgenkreis damit anfangen könnten. Gesagt, getan. Nach dem Morgenkreis rief ich die Vorschulkinder zusammen und ging mit ihnen in den Nebenraum. Die Kinder setzten sich auf die Matratzen und warteten gespannt.

Ich zeigte ihnen das Buch vom Seelenvogel, und Leona reagierte als erste darauf. Sie fragte: „Wieso ist da so ein Vogel, sieht die Seele etwa wie ein Vogel aus?“
Und schon waren wir wieder mittendrin.

Eren: „Vielleicht glaubt das der, der das Buch geschrieben hat. Kann doch sein, oder, Heike?“
Ich antwortete: „Ja, das ist möglich“.
Melvin: „Dann lass uns doch jetzt mal lesen, was da drin steht“.
Ich antwortete: „Das ist eine gute Idee. Wir schauen es uns an“.

Und was soll ich sagen. Wieder einmal war ich so restlos begeistert von Kindern, dass ich es kaum in Worte fassen kann. Am liebsten hätte ich eine versteckte Kamera dabei gehabt. Die Kinder konnten sich sehr gut in die Geschichte hinein versetzen und mit dem Seelenvogel mitfühlen. Gerade auch der Junge, der durch sein Sozialverhalten immer wieder Probleme mit den anderen Kindern hat, fand sich gefühlsmäßig bei so einigen Stellen wieder. Er konnte es auch benennen und sagte: „Ja, so fühlt sich meine Seele auch manchmal und dann geht es mir nicht so gut“. Das ist doch wirklich große Klasse, dass gerade dieser Junge seine Gefühle so gut benennen kann, aber leider nicht immer umzusetzen weiß.

Die Kinder waren fasziniert davon, wie der Seelenvogel auf einem Bein stehend mit dem anderen Bein den Schlüssel umdreht, um seine einzelnen Schubladen aufzuschließen.
Leona sagte: „Das finde ich toll, so möchte ich auch gerne meine Schubladen aufschließen können“.
Ich fragte sie: „Was ist denn in deinen Schubladen drin, Leona? Möchtest du uns das erzählen?“
Leona: „Ja, das möchte ich. Bei mir gibt es auch die Schubladen, die der Seelenvogel hat und auch eine für mein geheimstes Geheimnis. Das verrate ich keinem. Aber ich habe auch noch eine Schublade, um anderen zu helfen“.
Daraufhin erzählten auch die anderen Kinder, was sich in ihren Schubladen befindet. Die Kinder hatten tolle Ideen, was alles in den Schubladen zu finden ist. Es war ein lebendiger Austausch untereinander. Die Kinder haben viel erzählt, bis auf mein ganz ruhiges Mädchen. Sie hat nur etwas gesagt, wenn ich sie direkt angesprochen habe.

Tag 3 bis 6

In den nächsten Tagen habe ich mit den Kindern den Seelenvogel gemalt. Dazu habe ich den Kindern Leinwände zur Verfügung gestellt, außerdem Farben, Pinsel, Glitzer und Federn. Jedes Kind durfte seinen eigenen Seelenvogel kreativ darstellen. Die Kinder freuten sich sehr. Immer zwei Kinder konnten gleichzeitig im Nebenraum malen. Auch hierbei sind ganz beeindruckende Ergebnisse heraus gekommen.

Die Kinder haben allesamt zuerst einen Vogel auf ihre Leinwand gemalt. Alle Kinder, bis auf Melvin, haben dann in irgendeiner Art und Weise ihre eigene Seele dazu gemalt.

Melvins Bild:

Cedric hat zum Beispiel eine Blume gemalt, weil seine Seele aussieht wie eine Blume, die immer weiter wächst.

Cedrics Bild:

Emmilys Bild:

Leona hat ein Herz gemalt, das der Seelenvogel festhält. Darin ist ihre Seele, die aussieht wie ein Zebra. Beide essen zusammen ein Eis, welches oberhalb gemalt worden ist. Rechts im Bild sieht man das Haus vom Seelenvogel, das auch in uns drin ist und wo der Vogel wohnt.
Leonas Bild:

Caren hat ihre Seele als roten Kreis mit Glitzer dargestellt.
Carens Bild:


Als Rena, das ruhige schüchterne Mädchen, ihr Bild gemalt hat, haben alle anderen Kinder zugeschaut, weil sie laut Aussage der anderen Kinder besonders gut malen kann. Sie wollten alle mit anschauen, was die „Malkünstlerin“ für ein tolles Bild malt. Das hat Rena sehr stolz gemacht.

Renas Bild:

Eren hat besonders lange an seinem Bild gemalt, fast eine Stunde. Er hat sich sehr viele Gedanken gemacht und viel dabei erzählt. Es hat große Freude gemacht, ihm dabei zuzusehen.

Erens Bild:

Reflexion:

Ich würde sagen, dass ich mein Ziel erreicht habe. Alle Kinder hatten durchweg großes Interesse an dem Thema und waren sehr motiviert bei der Sache. Da die Kinder das Thema vorgegeben haben, waren sie auch sehr aktiv dabei.
Sie konnten grundlegende Fähigkeiten ausbauen, zum Beispiel sprachliche und kognitive, indem sie selbst viel miteinander diskutiert und erzählt haben.

Leona, mein Beobachtungskind, hat ich besonders rege beteiligt, da sie zum einen eine schnelle Auffassungsgabe hat und Dinge schnell umsetzen und auch sprachlich sehr gut wiedergeben kann, zum anderen da sie auch kreativ und gestalterisch immer sehr gut ist.
Rena, das schüchterne Mädchen, wirkte als einzige nicht ganz bei der Sache, als wir philosophiert haben. In einer größeren Gruppe ist es immer so, dass sie von sich aus nichts sagt. Erst auf direkte persönliche Ansprache antwortet sie, aber auch zurückhaltend. In Einzelsituationen, wie beim Malen, erzählt sie manchmal von sich aus, aber auch eher wenig. Trotzdem denke ich, dass auch die ruhigen Kinder daraus etwas mitnehmen können.

Auf Wunsch der Kinder werden wir an diesem Projekt noch ein bisschen weiter arbeiten. Geplant ist noch, dass jedes Kind einen Karton, eine Kiste oder eine Dose mitbringt. Diese werden wir bemalen und verzieren. Dort hinein kommen kleine gefaltete Schachteln, die Schubladen. In diese können die Kinder Dinge legen, die ihnen wichtig sind, oder auch ihre geheimsten Geheimnisse.

 

 

Datum der Veröffentlichung: März 2021
Copyright © Heike Breuer, siehe Impressum.

 

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Abusive language *** Hans Has a Heart and Experiences the Project „Tree of Words“ (German version)

Acceleration *** On School and Giftedness (German version) *** Questions before an Early School Enrolment (German version) *** Butterfly Club *** Two Little Ones at the „Club of Great Scientists“ (German version) *** Isabel (3;3) Learns to Play Halli Galli (German version) *** Isabel (3;8) Finds Adequate Playfellows for Number-Games *** Do Gifted Primary School Children Have a Better Standing These Days? (German version) *** What Can Be Done at Primary School? (German version)

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Advancement of gifted children at kindergarten *** What Can We Do in Kindergarten? *** Checklist: Cognitive Advancement *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** PowerPoint-Presentation on Giftedness at the Kindergarten (German version) *** Cultivate Motivation

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Aggressivness *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin? *** Aggressive-Abusive Behaviour and Giftedness *** Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Year-Old (German version) *** When Gifted Chidren Are „Problematic“  (German version)

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Antisocial behaviour *** Drawing Course with Linda *** I Win (German version)

Arts, dealing with the arts *** see Chapter 4.8. *** Examples for the Fine Arts at Kindergarten

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Authors of the Manual  *** About the Authors

Autism *** René (5;4) Is Learning How to Read (German version)

B

Being different *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** The Creative Personality *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Being tough *** What Is a Power Girl? (German version)

Belles-lettres *** Giftedness in Literature and Movies (German version)

Berlin Model of Intelligence Structure (BIS) *** What Is Intelligence?

Blueprints *** Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind-Maps *** Our Village in the Woods

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Body, the body *** What is a Power Girl? (German version)

Books for Gifted Pre-School Children *** Picture Books, Non-Fiction Books and Stories (German version)

Boredom *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** Cultivate Motivation

Brains and computers *** What Is Intelligence?

Bullying *** On School and Giftedness (German version) *** * Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

C

Calculating, early *** Examples of: Early Interest in Numbers and Mathematics in General *** Playful Mathematics (German version) *** Further Math Projects *** Basic Ideas of Mathematics

Calculating, feeling for calculating with powers *** Playful Mathematics (German version)

Caution *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children

Changes in childhood *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version

Chess *** Chess *** Chess Club

Children’s rights *** The Basics of Children’s Rights (German version)

Children under the age of 3 *** Children Under the Age of 3. At What Age Does it Get to Be Interesting? *** Examples on Children under the Age of 3 *** An Extraordinary Little Girl (German version) *** A 2-years old Girl Shows Signs of Giftedness (German version) *** Isabel (2;10) and Her Numbers

Citation aid *** Impressum

Clustering *** What Can We Do in Kindergarten? *** Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages *** Examples of: Advancement in Small Groups *** Number Detectives Are Taking Measurements (German version) *** Experiment „Vulcan“ (German version) *** Rabbit, Dog and Black Rat – a Pet Project (German version) *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Cognition *** Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (German  version) *** Checklist: Cognitive Advancement *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement

Colours *** Leaving Traces (German version)

Comments in the manual *** All Commentaries (German version)

Communication *** Communication in Kindergarten *** Children’s Questionnaire on Communication

Computer *** Making Use of the Computer  and the Internet

Concealing giftedness *** Concealing Abilities and Interests *** Tale of a Princess Whom Almost Everybody Considered too Smart *** How Children, Who Thought They Better Conceal Their Abilities, Have Been Helped *** Agneta Has Learned to Write *** Professors, Step Forward! *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Conceptual ideas *** An “Old” Concept – Short Version *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version *** The Experts Principle in Our Kindergarten Botzeknööfe (German version) *** The Basics of Children’s Rights (German version) *** Our Indoors-Outdoors-Concept (German version) *** Vivid Education? Dead Education (German version) *** Janusz Korczak and Our Open Work Mode (German version)

Conditions for the development of giftedness *** Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness *** Cultivate Motivation  *** Personal Competencies (German version)

Course instructors at the IHVO *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Quality Standards *** These Are the Course Instructors (German version)

Creativity *** Giftedness – a Definition *** The Creative Personality *** Examples of: Original, Unusual Thinking *** Children Make up Their Own Stories (German version) *** Children Writing Picture Books

Cross-linked giftedness *** Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness

D

Death, dealing with death *** An Extraordinary Little Girl (German version) *** The Dead Mother from Pompeii… (German version) *** Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death *** Philosophising about the Soul

Definition giftedness *** Giftedness – a Definition *** Are All Children from the Examples Gifted?

Developmental goals for pre-school children at kindergarten *** An „Old“ Concept – Complete Version

Developmental reports *** Developmental Reports at the End of Kindergarten Attendance

Development crises *** On Gifted Pre-School Children´s Reasoning and Emotion (see paragraph: piehe Absatz: A concept of friendship being developed) *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Diagnostics for Advancement *** Diagnostics for Advancement – What Is It? *** Possible Reasons for the Implementation of Diagnostics for Advancement *** Standards for Conducting Diagnostic Test Procedures *** How Useful Are Checklists? 

Discipline *** The Creative Personality

Disclaimer of liability *** Imprint

Disposition *** Giftedness and High Intelligence *** Personal Competencies (German version)

Donors‘ Association for the Promotion of Humanities and Sciences in Germany (Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft) *** Who Made the Manual Possible?

Drawing *** Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind-Maps *** Examples for: Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind-Maps *** Drawing Course with Linda *** Drawing Exercises at 4

Dread of new tasks *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Ergün, 3;10 Years

Dyslexia *** Dyslexia (German version)

E

Education *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin?

Educational documentary *** Developmental Reports at the End of Kindergarten Attendance

Educational goals *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin? *** Personal Competencies

Education at kindergarten *** An „Old Concept – Complete Version

Education policy *** A Vision

Elite *** Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Emotions *** On Gifted Pre-School Children´s Reasoning and Emotion *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension *** I Win (German version) *** The Creative Personality *** Project: School Corner… and Our Feelings (German version) *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Cultivate Motivation *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

English at kindergarten *** Foreign Languages at Kindergarten *** Murat Wants to Learn: Math Problems with a Minus and English (German version) *** Extraordinarily Talented Children at the English-Club (German version)

Enrichment *** On School and Giftedness (German version) *** Cultivate Motivation

Enrolment for school, early *** Questions before an Early School Enrolment (German version) *** How Do Parents Find an Adequate Primary School? *** Our Bridge Year (German version)

Environmental awareness *** Collecting Cans – An Environmental Project (German version)

Evolution *** What Is Intelligence?

Excessive demands *** Woher kommen die außergewöhnlichen Leistungen?

Excursations *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Year-Old (German version) (there the section on transport experts)

„Experts on the Advancement of Gifted Children in Kindergarten” (IHVO-Certificate) see: IHVO-Certificate Courses

Experts, young gifted Children as experts *** Examples of: Great Interest in Systems and Logical Relations (Example Jan) *** Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Years-Old  (there the section: Traffic experts) (German version)

Extraordinary ability *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence *** How Useful Are Checklists? 

F

Fairy tales *** Tale of a Princess Whom Almost Everybody Considered too Smart *** Fairy Tale Project with Carina (German version) *** Quiz Questions on Hansel and Gretel (German version) *** Quiz Questions on Sleeping Beauty (German version) *** Quiz Questions on Frau Holle (German version) *** Quiz Questions on Little Red Riding Hood (German version) *** Theatre Play „Little Red Riding Hood“ (German version) *** The Theatre Play „Hansel and Gretel“ (German version) *** „Peter and the Wolf“ and the Fine Arts

Fear of overchallenging the child *** Parent´s Letters (German version) *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement

Fears of gifted children *** It Takes Courage to Overcome Fears *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Examples of Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Picture Book about the Perchten *** Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death

Financials *** Enhanced Educational Efforts through Donations by Foundations (German version) *** Improving Framework Conditions (German version)

Fire *** Experimenting with a Candle Flame

Focus kindergartens, integrative see integrative focus kindergartens

Football see: Soccer

Foreign languages at kindergarten *** Foreign Languages at Kindergarten *** Examples for Foreign Languages at Kindergarten *** * DeepL Translator to Help with Parent Discussions

Forest *** Our Indoors-Outdoors-Concept (German version) *** Once a Month: Off into the Woods! (German version) *** In the Forest with a Ranger (German version)

Friends, playfellows *** Playfellows and Friends of Gifted Children *** Examples of: Striking Interest in Older Children *** I Win (German version) *** Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version) *** Car Construction *** Adequate Playfellows for Tom (German version) *** Isabel (3;8) Finds Adequate Playfellows for Number-Games *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Frustration, permanent *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension *** It Takes Courage to Overcome Fears *** * Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** Establishing a Relationsship with a Gifted Five-Year-Old (German version)

Frustration tolerance *** Permanent Frustration because Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension *** It Takes Courage to Overcome Fears

Further training *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Advancement of Gifted Children in Kindergarten *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Quality Standards *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Criteria for the Evaluation of Practical Assignments *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Levels of Achievement *** PowerPoint-Presentation on Giftedness at the Kindergarten (German version) *** Goals and Services of the IHVO

G

Games *** What Kinds of Toys Do Gifted Children Need? *** Interesting Games (German version) *** Universal Ideas for Games (German version)

Gardening *** Project: Building a Flower Bed (German version) *** A Perennial Flower Bed for the Yard (German version)

Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence

Gender-specific advancement *** Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness

Geography *** The Mountain Club (German version)  *** Our Village in the Woods

Getting to know other cultures *** For Once Live Like a Mongol (German version)

Getting used to kindergarten *** Kira Finds Her Way into the Group and Shows What She´s Got Going on (German version) *** An „Old“ Concept – Complete Version

Giftedness, characteristics of giftedness *** Indicators of Possible Intellectual Giftedness (with examples)  *** Giftedness and High Intelligence *** How Useful Are Checklists? *** The Creative Personality *** Are All Children from the Examples Gifted?

Giftedness, determining *** Determining Giftedness *** The Initial Observation *** Concealing Abilities and Interests *** Where Do the Extraordinary Abilities Come from? – Giftedness or Superb Advancement? *** Diagnostics for Advancement – What Is It? *** How Useful Are Checklists? *** Are All Children from the Examples Gifted?

Giftedness in literature and movies *** Giftedness, depicted in literature and movies (German version)

Giftedness, intellectual *** Giftedness – a Definition *** Above Average or Gifted? *** Making Careful Use of the Term Giftedness

Giftedness, social *** Domains of Giftedness *** Social Giftedness Does Show (German version)

Giftedness, types of *** Domains of Giftedness

Girls, gifted *** Power Girls‘ Club *** Tale of a Princess Whom Almost Everybody Considered too Smart *** Fairy Tale Project with Carina (German version) *** What is a Power Girl? (German version) *** An Extraordinary Little Girl (German version) *** The World of Professions *** Butterfly Club *** Rachel: “I Made up a Story and We Want to Show It to You Now!” (German version) *** Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“ (German version)

Group dynamics *** For Once Live Like a Mongol (German version)

H

Handicrafts *** Car Construction *** Projekt: Measuring and Crafting (German version) *** A Car Wash for Bobby Cars (German version)

Hansel and Gretel *** Quiz Questions on Hansel and Gretel (German version)

Helpfulness as an obstacle *** Selin Is Underchallenged (German version)

History, dealing with history *** The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten *** When Were the Middle Ages? *** Jan-Hendrik Wants to Write an Encyclopaedia of Romans (German version)

Holistic advancement *** The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten

Humor *** Examples of: Early and Marked Sense of Humor

I

IHVO = I nstitut zur Förderung H och begabter VO rschulkinder
(Institute for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children)

IHVO *** Imprint *** Goals and Services of the IHVO *** History of an Idea: Advancement of Gifted Children in Kindergarten

IHVO Certificate Courses *** IHVO-Certificate Courses *** IHVO Certificate-Courses: Qualitiy Standards *** IHVO Certificate Courses: Criteria for the Evaluation of Practical Assignments *** IHVO Certificate Courses: Levels of Achievement *** Integrative Focus Kindergarten for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children *** Acknowledging Expertise (German version) *** The Becoming of the Manual

Imhoff Foundation / Imhoff Stiftung *** Who Made the Manual Possible?

Immigrants *** Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem

Improving the situation of gifted children at kindergarten *** A Vision

Inclusion (see also Integration) *** Commentary: Inclusion – But Please Hurry?! (German version) *** Some Information on Inclusion (German version) *** Integrative Advancement – What Does It Mean? (German version) *** When Gifted Children Are „Problematic“ (German version) *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Indicators of possible giftedness *** Indicators of a Possible Giftedness (with Examples) *** Children under the Age of 3 *** How Useful Are Checklists?

Integrative focus kindergartens *** Integrative Focus Kindergarten for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children *** The Municipal Kindergarten “Sedanstraße” and Its Becoming an Integrative Focus Kindergarten for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children *** A Vision *** Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Year-Old (German version)

Intelligence *** What Is Intelligence? *** Giftedness and High Intelligence *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence

Intelligence models *** What Is Intelligence?

Intelligence quotient  see IQ

Interest in older children *** Examples of: Striking Interest in Older Children *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Interests of gifted children *** Questionnaire on Child’s Interests *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Cultivate Motivation

Internet *** Making Use of the Computer and the Internet

Introversion *** The Creative Personality

IQ *** Which Are the Children in Question? *** Giftedness – a Definition *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence *** How Useful Are Checklists? *** Standards for Conducting Diagnostic Test Procedures

J

K

Kindergarten as a Good Place for Learning *** Kindergarten as a Good Place for Learning

Kindergarten teachers as experts in various fields *** The Experts Principle in Our Kindergarten „Botzeknööfe“ (German version)

Kindergarten team *** Teamwork – How Do I Inspire My Team to Get into the Topic of Giftedness? (German version) *** Integrative Focus Kindergarten for the Advancement of Gifted Pre-School Children

Knowledge, acquiring knowledge *** How to Promote Thinking *** Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (German version) *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Levels of Achievement

Knowledge, thirst for knowledge *** Early Reading

Korczak, Janusz *** Janusz Korczak and Our Open Work Mode (German version)

L

Language, great talent for languages *** Examples of: Elaborate Speech, Large Vocabulary, Great Joy in Configuring Language *** Communication in Kindergarten *** Foreign Languages at Kindergarten

Learning *** IHVO-Certificate-Courses: Levels of Achievement *** How Do Gifted Children Learn? *** Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (German version) *** How to Promote Thinking *** How Does Learning and Research Happen? (German version)

Learning, ease of *** Giftedness – a Definition *** Examples of: Perceptual Speed *** Examples of: Quick Learning

Learning, free learnig *** It Takes Courage of Overcome Fears  *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension

Learning at the Kindergarten *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version

Learning in projects *** Advancement through Projects

Learning speed *** Examples of: Quick Learning *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement

Learning through research *** On Gifted Pre-School Children’s Reasoning and Emotion *** Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version) *** A Perennial Flower Bed for the Yard (German version)

Letters, interest in *** Examples of: Early Interest in the Alphabet and in Reading *** Project „Letters“ – Activity for Small Groups *** Kindergarten Teachers Supporting Children in Learning How to Read and Write *** A 3-Year-Old Girl Wants to Write (German version) *** I Think: Reading Is for School Children

Little Red Riding Hood *** Quiz Questions on Little Red Riding Hood (German version)

List of references for quotations *** Imprint

M

Manual, Notes on Using *** Notes on Using the Manual

Mathematics *** The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten *** Basic Ideas of Mathematics *** Playful Mathematics (German version) *** Examples of: Early Interest in Numbers and Mathematics in General *** Kindergarten Teachers Supporting Children in Learning Arithmetics *** Further Math Projects

Measurement, fault tolerance of measurement *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence

Memory see Retention

Mentoring see: One-on-One Advancement

Mother tongue  *** Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem

Motivation, intrinsic *** Giftedness – a Definition *** Cultivate Motivation

Mind-Maps *** Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind-Maps

Movement, freedom of movement at kindergarten *** An „Old“ Concept – Complete Version

Movies with gifted heroes *** Giftedness in Literature and Movies (German version)

Museum, visits to the *** For Once Live Like a Mongol (German version)

Music *** Observations about a Baby /Toddler *** Examples for Music at Kindergarten *** Mrs. Becker Stages an Opera

N

Nature *** Once a Month: Off into the Woods! (German version) *** In the Forest with a Ranger (German version) *** Project: Building a Flower Bed (German version) *** A Perennnial Flower Bed for the Yard (German version)

Needs, special *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Negative use of language *** Making Careful Use of the Term Giftedness

Newspaper as a medium *** Reading a Newspaper, Making a Newspaper

„No!“ *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin?

Numbers, arithmetic *** Examples of: Early Interest in Numbers and Mathematics in General *** Isabel (2;10) and Her Numbers *** Basic Ideas of Mathematics *** Further Math Projects

Nutrition and clothing in the kindergarten *** An „Old“ Concept – Complete Version

O

Observation *** Recognizing by Observation *** Modes of Observation *** Initial Observation *** Examples of Initial Observations *** Observations after the Observational Chart by Joelle Huser *** Ergün, 3;10 Years *** Rachel, 4;6 Years *** Concealing Abilities and Interests *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension *** Developmental Reports at the End of Kindergarten Attendance ***

Observation, evocative *** Modes of Observation *** Examples of Evocative Observations

Observation, initial *** The Initial Observation *** Examples of Initial Observations on Possibly Gifted Children

Observational Chart *** Indicators of Possible Intellectual Giftedness (with directly linked examples) *** Observations after the Observational Chart by Joelle Huser

One-on-One Advacement, Mentoring *** One-on-One Advancement, Mentoring (German version) *** Jerome Practises Writing *** Supporting Konstantin (German version) *** Jasmin (4;7) Is Writing a Story *** Picture Book about the Perchten *** Jan-Hendrik Wants to Write an Encyclopaedia of Romans (German version)

Open classrooms at kindergarten *** Janusz Korczak and Our Open Work Mode (German version)

Overexcitabilities *** Little Need for Sleep? *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** Gifted Children and Exceptional Emotional Sensitivity

Painting *** Children Interpreting a Painting by Dalí *** „Peter and the Wolf“ and the Fine Arts

Parents as experts *** Using Parents as Experts (German version)

Parents, communication with *** Questionnaire for Parents – First Term in Kindergarten *** Questionnaire for Parents for 4- to 6-Years Old Children in Kindergarten *** How Do Parents Find an Adequate Primary School?

Parent consulting *** Parent Consulting Established (German version) *** How Do Parents Find an Adequate Primary School? *** DeepL Translator to Help with Parent Discussions

Parents, discussions with parents *** Making Careful Use of the Term Giftedness *** How Useful Are Checklists? *** Alena (5) Studies Letters – When Should She Enrol at School? (German version) *** DeepL Translator to Help with Parent Discussions *** When Parents Provide Little Advancement

Parents of gifted children *** Parent´s Letters (German version) *** It Takes Courage to Overcome Fears

Pedagogical talent *** Selin Acts like a Kindergarten Teacher (German version) *** Lina Has Pedagogic Talent *** Alena (4;6) Leading a Small Gymnastics Group (German version)

Perceptional speed *** Examples of: Perceptual Speed *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement 

Perfectionism *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten

Performance and giftedness *** Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness *** Where Do the Extraordinary Abilities Come from? – Giftedness or Superb Advancement? *** How Do Gifted Children Learn? *** Cultivate Motivation *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Perseverance *** Examples: Great Perseverance and Resilience in Endeavours Which Are of Interest and Which Push towards the Limits of Individual Potential

Personal development *** Commentary: The Development of Potentials and Personality (German version) *** Personal Competencies *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Peters-Beer-Foundation *** Who Made the Manual Possible?

Photography *** Snow Worlds Seen Through a Lense – An Art Project Involving Photography *** Felix and His Photography (German version)

Picture books, created by children themselves *** Children Writing Picture Books *** Änne Draws and Writes a Book *** Picture Book about the Perchten *** Jonas (5;3) Makes Another Picture Book and Screens Paper

Plants *** Project: Building a Flower Bed (German version) *** A Perennnial Flower Bed for the Yard (German version)

Playfellows *** Playfellows and Friends of Gifted Children *** Examples of: Striking Interest in Older Children *** I Win (German version) *** Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version) *** Car Construction *** Adequate Playfellows for Tom (German version) *** Isabel (3;8) Finds Adequate Playfellows for Number-Games *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Playing materials, suitable for gifted children *** What Kinds of Toys Do Gifted Children Need? *** Interesting Games (German version) *** Universal Ideas for Games (German version)

Potential *** Woher kommen die außergewöhnlichen Leistungen *** Personal Competencies

Potential, development of potential *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** How to Promote Thinking *** Cultivate Motivation *** Commentary: The Development of Potentials and Personality (German version)

Poverty *** Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem

Pride *** The Creative Personality

Primary school, experiences at *** My First Year at School – Interviews with Children (German version) *** Do Gifted Primary School Children Have a Better Standing These Days? (German version) *** What Can Be Done at Promary School? (German version) *** How Do Parents Find an Adequate Primary School?

Principle of chance, understanding the *** Examples of: Great Interest in Systems and Logical Relations *** I Win (German version)

Problems *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** Communication in Kindergarten
Problem-solving ability *** What Is Intelligence?

Problems with falling asleep *** Little Need for Sleep?

Profession, the profession of kindergarten teachers *** Improving Framework Conditions! (German version)

Programming *** Making Use of the Computer and the Internet

Projects, working in projects *** Advancement through Projects *** The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten

Q

Questionnaires *** Questionnaire on Child’s Interests *** Questionnaire for Parents – First Term in Kindergarten *** Questionnaire for Parents for 4- to 6-Years Old Children in Kindergarten *** An Example of a Completed Parents Questionnaire (German version) *** Ben, 3;10 Years *** Children’s Questionnaire on Communication

Questions prior to an intelligence test *** Standards for Conducting Diagnostic Test Procedures *** Possible Reasons for the Implementation of Diagnostics for Advancement *** Thoughts, Worries and Fears by Parents and Pedagogues with Regard to Testing

R

Ranking by percentile *** Gaussian Distribution of Intelligence *** Standards for Conducting Diagnostic Test Procedures

Reactions of the social environment *** Making Careful Use of the Term Giftedness

Reading at kindergarten *** Reading and Writing in Kindergarten ***  Examples of: Early Interest in the Alphabet and in Reading *** Early Reading *** Dyslexia (German version) *** Kindergarten Teachers Supporting Children in Learning How to Read and Write **Early Intervention for Literacy (German version)

Recognition of patterns and rules *** Examples of: Rapid Recognition of Patterns and Rules

Relationship, establish a *** Kira Finds Her Way into the Group and Shows What She´s Got Going on (German version) *** Establishing a Relationship with a Gifted 5-Year-Old (German version)

Repetition *** Examples of: Aversion and Even Unwillingness to Perform Routine and Repetitive Assignments *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension

Retention *** Examples of: Astonishing Memory

Risk assessment *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Examples of Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children

Routine tasks *** Examples of: Aversion and Even Unwillingness to Perform Routine and Repetitive Assignments *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement

Rules at kindergarten *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version

S

Salaries *** Improving Framework Conditions (German version)

Sanctions *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin?

School, advancement at school *** What Can Be Done at Primary School? (German version) *** Do Gifted Primary School Children Have a Better Standing These Days? (German version) *** It Takes Courage to Overcome Fears *** Mrs Becker Stages an Opera  *** How Should School Deal with the Gifted? (German version)

School, cooperation kindergarten – school *** Gifted Children between Kindergarten and Primary School *** Developmental Reports at the End of Kindergarten Attendance *** Being in Touch with Local Primary Schools – Making for a Smooth Transition to School (German version) *** PowerPoint-Presentation on Giftedness at the Kindergarten (German version) *** My First Year at School – Interviews with Children (German version) *** Our Bridge Year (German version) *** How to Prepare the Children for School (German version) *** Questions before an Early School Enrolment (German version)

School enrolment, early *** Gifted Children between Kindergarten and Primary School *** Questions before an Early School Enrolment (German version) *** Being in Touch with Local Primary Schools – Making for a Smooth Transition to School (German version) *** Our Bridge Year (German version) *** PowerPoint-Presentation on Giftedness at the Kindergarten (German version) *** Alena (5) Studies Letters – When Should She Enrol at School? (German version)

School, playing school *** We Make Our Own “Classroom” (German version) *** Project: School Corner … and Our Feelings  (German version)

Scientific experiments *** Scientific Experiments with Highly Interested Children (German version) *** Projects on Explorations in Physics and Chemistry *** Watching Beans Grow (German version)

Scientific research / exploring nature *** Projects on Explorations in Physics and Chemistry *** Butterfly-Club *** Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version) *** Watching Beans Grow (German version) *** Adrian Studies Nature’s Creeps

Self-determination *** Examples of: An Early Desire for Self-Direction and Self-Determination

Self-esteem *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Sense of justice *** Examples of: Skilled Observation, Pronounced Sense of Justice

Sensibility, high *** Gifted Children and Exceptional Emotional Sensitivity  *** Little Need for Sleep? *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** An Extraordinary Little Girl, pt. 6 (German version)

Sitemap of the manual with all contributions *** Sitemap (German version)

Sleep *** Little Need for Sleep?

Sleeping Beauty *** Quiz Questions on Sleeping Beauty (German version)

Small-groups, working in *** How Do Gifted Children Learn? *** Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages *** Examples of: Advancement in Small Groups *** Project „Letters“ – Activity for Small Groups  *** Mathematical Advancement in a Group of 2 (German version) *** Butterfly-Club *** Experiment „Vulcan“ (German version) *** Three Boys Exploring Time (German version) *** Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“ (German version) *** Alena and a Small Group Are Becoming Experts of the Learning Workshop (German version)

Soccer *** Soccer and Newspaper

Social competence *** Social Giftedness Does Show (German version) *** Selin Acts like a Kindergarten Teacher (German version) *** Lina Has Pedagogic Talent *** Gifted Children Showing Their „True Colours“ (German version) *** I Win (German version) *** Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version) *** Emma as Stage Director (German version) *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

Social maturity *** Examples of: Skilled Observation, Pronounced Sense of Justice *** Selin Acts like a Kindergarten Teacher (German version) *** Aggressive-Abusive Behaviour and Giftedness

Social situation *** Giftedness Is Not a Happy Problem *** Prerequisites for the Evolvement of Giftedness *** Improving Framework Conditions (German version)

Staff, children-staff ratio *** Improving Framework Conditions (German version) *** Enhanced Educational Efforts through Donations by Foundations (German version)

T

Taboos *** Disturbing Stupidity of the Adults *** Picture Book about the Perchten *** Special Playing and Learning Needs or the Early Notion of Being Different *** Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death

Teachers, very good teachers *** Mrs Becker Stages an Opera  *** Lena Learns How to Code

Team see Kindergarten-Team

Technology (talent, interest, advancement) *** Joshua, the Inventor *** Project: Time (German version) *** Car Construction *** Bastian Is Explaining His Dream Car (German version) *** Felix and His Photography (German version) *** Dissembling Electric Devices (German version)

Test procedures *** Diagnostics for Advancement – What Is It? *** Standards for Conducting Diagnostic Test Procedures

Theatre *** Drama Activities at Kindergarten (German version) *** Theatre Play with Gifted Children (German version) *** Examples for Drama Activities at Kindergarten (German version) *** Tale of a Princess Whom Almost Everybody Considered Too Smart – Theatre Adaption – (German version) *** Tale of a Princess Whom Almost Everybody Considered Too Smart *** Rachel: „I Made up a Story, and Now We Want to Show It to You“

Thinking *** On Gifted Pre-School Children´s Reasoning and Emotion *** Examples of: Complex Thinking *** Examples of: Original, Unusual Thinking *** Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (German version) *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** How to Promote Thinking *** Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“ (German version) *** And What They Think!

Thinking, abstract *** On Gifted Pre-School Children´s Reasoning and Emotion *** Chess *** Chess Club *** I Win (German version) *** Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind Maps

Thinking, causal *** Examples of: Rapid Recognition of Pattern and Rules

Thinking, complex *** Examples of: Complex Thinking *** Chess

Thinking, creative *** Children Writing Picture Books *** Children Make up Their Own Stories *** The Creative Personality

Thinking, critical *** Examples of: Critical Thinking, Authorities Must Prove Themselves *** Disturbing Stupidity of the Adults *** Adrian Takes to Reading the Newspaper – Questions of Life and Death

Thinking, divergent *** Divergent Thinking *** On Gifted Pre-School Children’s Reasoning and Emotion

Thinking into the future *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children ***

Thinking, logical *** Examples of: Rapid Recognition of Patterns and Rules *** I Win (German version)

Thinking, planned *** Observations about a Baby / Toddler *** Plans, Drawings, Sketches, Mind Maps

Thinking, solution-oriented *** Social Giftedness Does Show (German version)

Thinking, systematic *** Examples of: Great Interest in Systems and Logical relations

Thoughts, unusual *** Examples of: Original, Unusual Thinking

Thoughtlessness *** Disturbing Stupidity of the Adults

Time, dealing with time *** Project: Time (German version) *** The Advancement of Mathematical Talent in Kindergarten *** Number Detectives Are Taking Measurements (German version) *** Three Boys Exploring Time (German version) *** Children Interpreting a Painting by Dalí

Time, taking time to live *** An “Old” Concept – Complete Version

Timidity *** Timidity and Apprehension in Gifted Children *** Afraid of the Trip to the Zoo *** Blood Coagulation *** A Cognitive Approach of Pacification

Toddlers *** Children Under the Age of 3. At What Age Does it Get to Be Interesting? *** Examples on Children under the Age of 3

Transition to school *** Gifted Children between Kindergarten and Primary School *** How to Prepare the Children for School (German version) *** Project: School Corner … and Our Feelings (German version) *** We Make Our Own “Classroom” (German version) *** Questions before an Early School Enrolment (German version)

U

Underchallenged, being underchallenged *** Examples of: Aversion and Even Unwillingness to Perform Routine and Repetitive Assignments *** Examples of: An Early Desire for Self-Direction and Self-Determination *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** Permanent Frustration because of Being Underchallenged and Facing Incomprehension *** Custom-fit Cognitive Advancement *** Concealing Abilities and Interests *** Selin Is Underchallenged (German version) *** Loneliness and the Social Dilemma of the Gifted

V

Violence, rejection of  *** Specific Problems Gifted Children Face in Kindergarten *** What Is Parenting? And When Does It Begin?

Vocabulary, large *** Examples of: Elaborate Speech, Large Vocabulary, Great Joy in Configuring Language

W

Waldorf Schools *** Commentary: Gifted Children in Waldorf-Schools? (German version)

Ways of thinking *** How to Promote Thinking

Webmaster *** Imprint

Working conditions at kindergarten *** Acknowledging Expertise (German version) *** Enhanced Educational Efforts through Donations by Foundations (German version) *** Improving Framework Conditions (German version)

Worries of parents of gifted children *** Thoughts, Worries and Fears by Parents and Pedagogues with Regard to Testing *** A Mother´s Worries before Scholl Enrolment *** Aggressive-Abusive Behaviour and Giftedness

Writing at kindergarten *** Reading and Writing in Kindergarten *** Dyslexia (German version) *** Children Writing Picture Books *** Kindergarten Teachers Supporting Children in Learning How to Read and Write *** Learning How to Write Before School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cultivate Motivation

by Hanna Vock

 

In our opinion, a high level of intrinsic motivation is a necessary component of giftedness. (See: Giftedness – A Definition).

Gifted young children feel little resistance and effort when learning; they experience joy and pleasure when they tackle new challenges. They find the successful completion of a task, the „aha“ effect of understanding new contexts, so satisfying that they are always on the lookout for new challenges.

In contrast, extrinsic attempts to motivate them are relatively ineffective. „Why don’t you draw a nice picture, then your mum will be happy“ or „When you’ve done that nicely, you’ll get a little sticker from me“ often don’t entice gifted children out of their reserve, even in kindergarten.

Kindergarten teachers must learn to deal with the fact that most gifted children often cannot be reached by extrinsic attempts at motivation, which work so well with many children.

However, by consistently addressing the child’s intrinsic motivation, a great deal can be achieved.

… in a nutshell …

Gifted young children have a strong intrinsic motivation to learn. However, this personality trait is sensitive, it can shrink and be lost at an early age if the child’s social environment, especially the parents and kindergarten teachers, do not carefully nurture this motivation.
This nurturing consists of giving the child sufficient opportunities to be active at his or her level of cognitive development and to experience success.

A certain type of gifted child is very broadly motivated, interested in almost everything new. These children are generally eager to learn, to accumulate knowledge and to understand contexts.

Another type of gifted children directs their motivation early – already at pre-school age – to a specific „domain“, to a specific subject area. According to my (non-representative) long-term observations, these preferences are often surprisingly stable. The later field of study, the later profession could already be guessed at in the child’s early interests. Here I see an interesting question for research. I will only give a few examples here:

– A girl who was already intensively interested in how people interact with each other within the kindergarten group at the age of five is now studying psychology.

– A girl who already had a very sustained interest in how adults interact with children and how they should do it at pre-school age is studying education.

– A boy who was already interested in plans, transport networks and systems at the age of 5 to 6 became a computer scientist.

– A girl who systematically studied the different ways in which written language can be used from pre-school age became a journalist.

– A boy who listened with great interest to my stories about how life used to be in former times and had many questions about it, is studying history and is particularly interested in the history of everyday life.

A problem arises for the children when their domain does not play a role either in the family or in kindergarten / primary school.

Respect motivation

In my opinion, one of the main goals of good gifted education in kindergarten should be to respect the child’s strong intrinsic motivation as something very valuable and not to destroy it.

If the child has the inner urge
– to play complicated games,
– to understand difficult stories or problems,
– to conduct extensive experiments,
– to have conversations about „adult topics“,
– to discuss his observations,
– to learn many details and connections about a topic,

then this should also be possible in the kindergarten every now and then. Otherwise, the child’s high motivation is in danger of collapsing.

Since the possibilities in the kindergarten are limited by the often inadequate framework conditions, the main burden of providing the right cognitive support for highly gifted children lies with the family.

(Learning) motivation in danger

Motivation is a disturbable phenomenon. It can also be disrupted and disappear. Then children become unhappy and quite a few of them eventually become underachievers; that is, their performance does not correspond to their aptitude, for example at school.

If the play and learning environment, whether in the family, the kindergarten or the school, does not offer the child enough opportunities for action and stimulation at the child’s developmental level, motivation suffers.

Three aspects need to be considered. The child needs appropriate stimulation and opportunities for action,

    • because 1. it wants to be active extensively at its developmental level. (Extensively, because both the perseverance with a single activity of interest and the time „resilience“ in a day or in a week is unusually large with highly gifted children – they „can’t get enough“),
    • because 2. in order to maintain motivation, the satisfaction of having successfully solved a challenging task is needed again and again,
    • because 3. it needs social recognition. His abilities and successes must be visible to others in his environment, meet with interest and find confirmation in order to maintain motivation.

These three aspects result in certain tasks for the parents as well as for the kindergarten teachers, because none of this is self-evident in the sense of usual:

1.
Most kindergartens are not adequately equipped for highly gifted children in terms of play materials and offers and projects.
The cognitive interests of gifted children must also be taken into account when purchasing play materials and designing activities and projects.

See also: Which Toys Do Gifted Children Need?
See also: Interesting Games (German version).
See also: Picture Books, Non-Fiction Books and Stories. (German version).

2.
If difficult play materials are missing and if projects and excursions are cognitively too simple and not complex enough, the challenges for the child and correspondingly the satisfaction of having cognitively mastered the challenge are missing.
It is no way out to reassure oneself that the child can still learn a lot in other areas (for example, motor or social) in the kindergarten.
It is always necessary to consider how the child can be addressed at his or her cognitive level.

One possibility that does not require additional time
is to consciously use different levels of questions when talking to the children.

For this, please read:
How to Promote Thinking.

And also:

Cognitive Advancement in Kindergarten. Gaining Knowledge, Practising the Act of Thinking (German version).

Checklist: Cognitive Advancement the Kita.

(These two articles are not only about gifted children, but about all children in the kindergarten.)

The kindergarten teacher Ilona Lemm wrote at the beginning of her IHVO Certificate Course in her first paper:

„Finally, I would like to say that I am always torn whether M. (6;0) is really a gifted child or he just has a special liking for mathematics.
He really enjoyed the different maths games I played with him in his last weeks at kindergarten.
I am mainly concerned about his low intrinsic motivation to learn.

I only met M. last August. Unfortunately, his previous kindergarten teacher was not very well disposed towards him. She described him to us as particularly demanding, aggressive, not obedient and someone who repeatedly breaks the rules.

He obviously does not have an „easy time“ at home either. His mother describes him as very annoying and demanding and says quite openly that she has already beaten him. M. has another little sister and when the mother picks them both up, the daughter’s greeting is very warm, while he is greeted quite coolly.

All this leads me to believe that his motivation to question, understand and learn must have diminished considerably. He has probably been rejected many times and then stopped asking. This assumption frightens me very much and will hopefully make me more attentive in the future when a child has many questions or challenges me in a similar way.
By the way, M. taught himself arithmetic all by himself without the help of adults.“

Is a child’s motivation OK or disturbed?

A good method to assess the motivational situation of children in kindergarten is the Leuven Engagement Scale for Children LES-K (Laevers 1997).
(See: bibliography under „Laevers“).

The Engagement Scale is a process-oriented observation system that is intended to provide kindergartens and primary school teachers with constant clues so that they „do not lose sight“ of the child and its learning processes. Vandenbussche, Kog, Depondt and Laevers (1999) explain the basic ideas and I try to present them here in short.

The authors consider recognisable well-being and clear commitment of the child in a concrete situation as decisive signs of an ongoing learning process. In other words, they focus on processes that take place in the child.

For them, „well-being“ means „feeling at home“, „being able to be oneself“, „being happy“.

„Commitment refers to the intensity of an activity, the concentration brought to it, it is the degree to which one is absorbed in something, the drive and joy of discovery and exploration“. (p. 5)

Thus, from the observable commitment of the child, one infers his or her underlying motivation with regard to the opportunities that the kindergarten offers the child.

The Leuven authors list as observable characteristics of commitment:

    • Concentration,
    • energy,
    • complexity and creativity,
    • facial expression and posture,
    • perseverance,
    • accuracy,
    • responsiveness,
    • verbal expressions,
    • satisfaction.

These characteristics are defined in detail in the LES-K manual (Laevers, 1997, pp. 12-13).

Gifted children who are chronically underchallenged in their kindergarten, who withdraw, become behaviourally conspicuous or do not want to come to kindergarten would initially be perceived in this approach as children whose well-being and commitment are impaired.

This would simultaneously assume that the child’s further development is at risk.

Although the toolkit was not developed specifically for gifted education, it is well suited for becoming aware of highly gifted children and developing individual, appropriate support with the child.

In the section „Special Measures for Children at Risk of Development“ (Vandenbussche et al., pp. 108-115), examples are given of ways in which the kindergarten teacher can provide individual developmental stimuli – also in the area of cognitive development.

The basic idea of reading off from the degree of engagement whether a child is developing or stagnating is fascinating. The authors write (ibid., p. 19): „Engagement has nothing to do with the content of an activity, but with its quality…. We use the term ‚engagement‘ when children… devote themselves intensively to an activity. In doing so, they are in a special state, highly concentrated and anxious to stay on task. This intrinsic motivation is high because the activity is something they want to know or get to know more about, which appeals to their urge to explore and experience.“

It is not far from a consistent level of engagement to a state that Csikszentmihalyi (1990) calls „flow“. In my experience, many educators observe this state of ongoing (flowing) happiness almost exclusively in the children’s free play. In fact, free, undisturbed play with plenty of time has a high value for the children’s well-being and development.

Other educators report in our trainings that they themselves and also the children have felt a lot of flow not only in free play but also, for example, in challenging projects – and that the children’s free play became more intensive after such activities. They represent that children do not get the impulses for their play from themselves alone, from their playmates and from the material world surrounding them. They also need the targeted stimulation of adults who make their knowledge and experience available to them.

In my opinion, highly gifted children in particular need, want and are able to process a great deal of stimulation from other, similarly developed children and from clever adults, in addition to a great deal of freedom and time for play.

Motivation and success

A successfully completed activity not only gives satisfaction for the moment, but is also a good basis for further intrinsic motivation. A chain of successes that never breaks for a long time is the best motivator. At first, it is irrelevant whether the success is also seen and recognised by others. In the long run, however, it is social recognition that really inspires.

And here the circle closes:

Gifted children must have opportunities for successful activity. They often define „success“ more narrowly than other children: it has to be really good and, above all, they have to be convinced that it is really good. Since they often make high demands on themselves, this cannot be taken for granted. In my kindergarten group there was a very artistically gifted boy who exclusively produced (in our eyes) great, extraordinary pictures. Most of them, however, ended up torn up in the waste paper basket because he himself did not find them successful.

They also need social recognition, but it should respect their own standards; otherwise the child may feel that he or she is not being taken seriously and may no longer inwardly accept the educator as a „juror“.

 

Date of publication in German: December 2015
Copyright © Hanna Vock, see imprint .

 

Examples of: Advancement in Small Groups

This is a collection of articles from the manual in which small group work at kindergarten is described.
As different as the children, the kindergarten teachers and the framework and working conditions are, as different are the offers and projects described.
However, the aim is always to make use of the possibilities and advantages of small group work.

See: Advancement in Small Groups – Possibilities and Advantages

 

 

Project „Letters“ – Activity for Small Groups

Alena (4;6) Leading a Small Gymnastics Group (German version)

Alena (5;10) and a Small Group Are Becoming Experts of the Learning Workshop (German version)

Murat and Our Project „My Body“ (German version)

Extraordinarily Talented Children at the English-Club (German version)

Rabbit, Dog and Black Rat – A Pet Project (German version)

The Theatre Play „Little Red Riding Hood“ (German version)

Soccer and Newspaper

Newspaper Club with Sarah/a> (German version)

Three Boys Exploring Time (German version)

René (5;4) Is Learning How to Read (German version)

Janna and the Tale of a Princess (German version)

A Hen’s Egg

Pablo (4;5) Is Already Interested in Reading Too (German version)

Isabel (3;8) Finds Adequate Playfellows for Number-Games

Felix and His Photography (German version)

Experiment „Vulkan“ (German version)

A 3-Years-Old Girl Wants to Write (Abridged Version) (German version)

Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“ (German version)

„Peter and the Wolf“ and the Fine Arts

Experimenting with a Candle Flame

Butterfly-Club

Selin Is Underchallenged (German version)

Mathematical Advancement in a Group of 2 (German version)

Experiments with Magnets (German version)

Making Friends in the Researchers‘ Club (German version)

Number Detectives Are Taking Measurements (German version)

Club der starken Mädchen

Power Girls‘ Club

The Mountain Club (German version)

A Car Wash for Bobby Cars (German version)

Children Interpreting a Painting by Dalí

Chess Club

 

Date of publication in German: 2021, February
Copyright © Hanna Vock

Beispiele zu: Förderung in Kleingruppen

Hier sind die Beiträge aus dem Handbuch zusammengetragen, in denen Kleingruppenarbeit in Kitas geschildert wird.
So verschieden die Kinder, die ErzieherInnen und die Rahmen- und Arbeitsbedingungen sind, so unterschiedlich sind auch die beschriebenen Angebote und Projekte. Immer geht es aber darum, die Möglichkeiten und Vorteile der Kleingruppenarbeit auszunutzen.

 

 

Datum der Veröffentlichung: Februar 2021
Copyright © Hanna Vock