by Martina Böckling
Jasmin is now 4;7 years old, she likes to visit the kindergarten and has made great progress in her development.
She learns a lot about the group events and also notices events that even we kindergarten teachers don’t register.
Jasmin always amazes me with her good memory, she remembers things that we adults quickly forget. She rapidly recognizes and remembers recurring structures and rituals, helping children who have forgotten them.
Jasmin is able to perceive and respond to the needs and sensitivities of others very well. She shows consideration, offers help and explains to the other children what is going on.
…in a nutshell…
Jasmin wants to continue learning how to write what she started in the previous project.
The author combines this interest with the idea of writing a story with Jasmin in which Jasmin can express her own wishes; because she cares a lot about others, but rarely expresses what she wants herself.
Since Jasmin loves princesses and would probably prefer to be one herself, the project begins with various picture books about princesses.
Finally, Jasmin develops and writes her own story.
The author decides in favour of an individual grant in order to be able to deal exactly with Jasmin.
Read more about Jasmin:
A 3-Years-Old Girl Wants to Write (German version)
Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“ (German version)
Founding the topic
As well as Jasmin can put herself into others‘ shoes, she seems to perceive and express little of her own needs. I’ve rarely seen Jasmin express herself in terms of what she wants. For example, she takes games, but rarely says what she wants.
Jasmin likes to be involved in everything, but is always busy taking care of other children’s well-being.
She only insists that she regularly „works“ with me alone or in a small group. This is important to her and she expresses it very energetically.
If Jasmin is not well, something does not suit her or she has other difficulties, she shows physical symptoms such as headaches or stomach pains. It can also happen that she gets tired. Although these symptoms have decreased recently, they have not yet completely disappeared.
It is noticeable that this does not occur when she is challenged or when she appears very satisfied.
Due to her good ability to observe, Jasmin reacts much more sensitively to people or situations than the other children in the group.
In conversations with her mother it became clear to me that Jasmin at home does not find the peace and balance she needs. Due to a lot of visiting relatives, who often stay for days in the small apartment, and due to problems the mother has, there is a restless climate.
Jasmin’s good manners towards her relatives are very important to her mother; Jasmin’s needs and desires are apparently not well received. Despite the often difficult circumstances, it is important to the mother that Jasmin is well and she tries to fulfill many material wishes.
However, the mother mentioned that Jasmin is often very cheeky at home, a behaviour we don’t even know from kindergarten.
I think it is important for Jasmin to be able to express her wishes in the kindergarten and to assert them more strongly.
Jasmin herself keeps saying that she wants to „work“ with me. By this she means that she writes. The normal group routine with all its offers is not enough for her.
I made various offers, she was enthusiastic about them, but again and again there was a very energetic desire to continue writing.
I wanted to fulfill this wish for her. At the same time it was important to me that Jasmin learns to express and enforce her wishes so that she no longer needs the physical complaints.
In order to challenge Jasmin, I thought about thinking up a story with her, in which her wishes also appear, and writing it down.
Since Jasmin could only write her name independently until the beginning of the project, but she had already had the previous experience of the sounds and letters (see: A 3-Years-Old Girl Wants to Write (German version), I wanted to find out what Jasmin could achieve.
Goals that should be achieved
- Jasmin is able to express their wishes and needs.
- Jasmin is able to enforce them.
- Jasmin develops her writing skills.
- Jasmin continues to gain self-confidence.
While in the last projects the focus was always on small group work, I have decided to do an individual support with Jasmin in this project.
On the one hand, I would like to give Jasmin the peace and quiet she has neither at home, nor in the group, nor in the small group.
In the small group it is Raman and Berin who talk a lot and are able to speak faster than Jasmin.
Since this time it is important to me that Jasmin recognizes their needs, individual support is important.
Jasmin dares to do a lot more if she doesn’t have to be considerate, and in addition, Berin quickly drives her over the mouth. In such moments Jasmin withdraws and sometimes cries.
I also noticed that Jasmin adapts very much to the small group. In my opinion she doesn’t really show what she is capable of.
She has a lot of consideration for Amanda, and she doesn’t dare to do much with the others.
Jasmin has shown in recent projects that she can be much more persistent than the other children in the small group.
This led to her getting into an argument with Berin every now and then.
It is important to me that Jasmin does not have to deal with the other children in this project work.
Comment of the course leader:
A sensible approach.
I myself can adjust better to Jasmin and challenge her when I am alone with her. Since I have built up a very good and intensive relationship with her, I hope that she will now be able to show what she still has to offer.
Over a year ago, the „Gelsenkirchen Development Guide“ was filled out for Jasmin. Now I want to use this questionnaire to check how far Jasmin has developed in the areas of language, cognitive development, social competence, fine motor skills and gross motor skills since then.
In the evaluation it becomes clear that Jasmin is now developed in the (German) language according to age. In everyday life, however, it becomes clear that Jasmin is still missing many terms and that even the sentences are often not yet correctly formed.
In the area of cognitive development, it is noticeable that she (at the age of 4;7) shows more than half of the skills that apply to children from 5 1/2 years to school enrolment.
What is striking about social competence is that it meets almost all the requirements of the category of 5 1/2 years olds until they start school.
Even in the case of fine motor skills, some requirements can already be fulfilled by her up to the time of enrolment.
In gross motor skills it is developed according to age.
Questionnaire on Child´s Interests
In order to have a good starting point for the new project, I wanted to go through the Questionnaire on Child´s Interests again with Jasmin.
Since Jasmin tends to distract attention in conversations very quickly, I decided to grab her by her strength so that she could concentrate on our conversation.
The task was: „Jasmin, listen carefully and think about the questions“.
Since Jasmin likes to think, she was there with zeal. After every question she answered, she crossed out the question number with a pen.
Contrary to the first processing of the questionnaire – about a year ago – it became clear that she now loves to play regular games and to write.
The number of her playmates has doubled and writing continues to be her favourite activity.
While she used to call „painting“ her skill, today she can „write and learn“.
Her wish is to be able to „think“ even better.
Comment of the course leader:
However, this is a typical desire for a gifted child. At this age, thinking itself is only an object of one’s own thinking for very few children.
She finds it nice to play alone in kindergarten and doesn’t like it when big girls annoy her when she plays in the movement hall or in the big corridor. Last year, she found puzzling difficult, now she finds it difficult when she misspelled letters.
When asked what annoys her, it was Amanda a year ago. Today she is annoyed that Raman only wants to play with Yusuf. When I asked her what was bothering her about it, it became clear that she wanted to play with Raman herself.
Her favourite toy is everything to do with princesses (she told me many things she would like to have in this context).
She also likes to see princesses on TV, preferably when they dance.
I didn’t get an answer to the question of what she would still like to learn or what she is proud of. Jasmin smiled – probably because she already gave the answer, she wants to write and think and nothing more!
Later she wants to become a dancer – and when she meets an old woman, she would ask her for letters.
When I look at these answers, Jasmin expressed her wishes very clearly.
She wants to write more, want to play with Raman and she wants to think more.
After this conversation Jasmin left the room very content, not without encircling all the fields on the sheet „What things do you like to do?“ with the symbol for yes. She considered every question very carefully and then circled it.
Jasmin, Berin and Juline (all similar ages) sit at the table in the next room and wait for lunch.
Juline and Berin talk and get louder and louder. Juline has a very high voice, which increases in pitch and Berin finally screams to say something. Jasmin becomes more and more silent and says nothing more. After some time she starts crying, it takes some time until the others notice it.
Here it becomes clear that Jasmin cannot tolerate too much volume well, but is not able to say that the screaming disturbs her. Instead, she cries.
See also: Modes of Observation
Berin, Jasmin and I sit at the table in the group room and play the „beaver game“. The game is about pulling blocks from a stack without the beaver lying on it falling down.
Jasmin pulls a block, the stack collapses and the beaver falls down.
Berin starts: „Well, Jasmin, you should have thought better about that, you pulled out the wrong block. So, you see, this happens, now everything is broken. Only because of you. You have to think better.“
Jasmin listens to the talk in amazement, gets sad and says: „Yes, that’s true.“ She seems very unhappy.
Here it becomes clear that Jasmin is scolded in an inappropriate way, but she is not able to defend herself. Instead, she becomes sad and also agrees.
Jasmin sits at the painting table and writes her name, and she paints circles. After a few minutes she stops and looks at her paper.
I sit opposite her, watch her and when she notices that I am watching her, she smiles at me.
„Jasmin, what are you doing“, I ask.
„Martina, I want to think.“
„What would you like to think about?“
„I want to think of a princess“, replies Jasmin.
I ask: „What would you like to think about a princess?“
Jasmin: „Princess is beautiful and can do anything and may wish for anything.“
„Would you like to hear something about princesses and talk about it?“ I ask.
She rejoices and shouts: „Yes, princess.“
I promise her.
With this observation it becomes clear that for Jasmin a princess has everything that she would like or would like to have and dares to do.
That’s why I decided that the content of the project should be about princesses.
Course of the project
In order to give Jasmin the reliability to work with her and to get her consent for individual support, I said to her:
„Jasmin, I know that you want to work and learn a lot. Unfortunately, we don’t manage in the group that you can work as much as you want. What do you think if we both would pull ourselves out of the group room more often and think and work together?“
Jasmin shines and shouts: „Yes, both of us, we are working, great, Martina, great!“
She jumps through the group room and shouts and sings: „I’m going to work with Martina, elelele.“
Picture book view
The book: „I want friends!“ from the Little Princesses series by Tony Ross
The story is about the little princess who enroles school expecting to find many friends. All the children she approaches reject her and she experiences that nobody wants to play with her. Other children are similar and so all „children without friends“ sit, eat and play together.
The little princess invites all „children without friends“ to her home. Now the other children also want to come, the princess puts on her infamous, sinister face and allows it generously.
I chose this book because it is about friendship, but also about rejection. I know that Jasmin would like to be friends with Raman, and I wanted to talk to her about it.
In the course of the picture book view, Jasmin told me that Raman and Yusuf don’t let her play along more often and that she thinks it’s stupid.
She is very interested in the story and when the „children without friends“ eat and play together, she looks at me and says: „But Martina, they are friends now“.
She shakes her head at the fact that the „children without friends“ don’t understand that they are all friends after all.
Jasmin describes very precisely what happens in the book, but also wants me to read her every page.
When all the children show up in the castle and the little princess introduces her friends to her bewildered mother, Jasmin laughs and says: „Home is nice to have friends.“
When I asked her if she would take friends home with her, she laughed: „Martina, you can’t go, there’s no room.“
The next morning Jasmin asks me if she can play outside. To my question: „With whom then?“ she smiles at me and whispers: „With Raman“.
It was clear to me that he didn’t know anything about it yet, because he was playing with Yusuf in the construction corner.
The interesting thing for me was that Jasmin never goes outside to play unless the whole group goes outside. But she knew that Raman liked to play outside.
I was curious to see what she would do now.
Jasmin went to the building corner and said, „I’m going out. Raman, do you want to go?“
Yusuf said to her, „Raman is playing with me.“
Jasmin replied, „We can all go outside.“
Yusuf: „I can go out with Raman.“
Jasmin explained: „But I’ve already asked, I can go and you can go.“
Raman looks at his building, to Jasmin he says: „Okay, let’s all go outside, but we still have to clean up.“
They started to clean up, Jasmin was visibly happy. Unfortunately, during the tidying up process, new game situations developed, so that the children didn’t manage to get out in the end.
At least Jasmin started the attempt. She thought about how she could get Raman to go outside with her.
Jasmin has clarified that she can go outside, she has invited Raman and also Yusuf (she knew that she can’t persuade Raman to do it alone).
Jasmin took the initiative, it was very thoughtful and it did her good that Raman wanted to go out with her.
Stories from: „Many Little Princess Stories“
by Sabine Cuno and Stefanie Dahle
Three times I withdrew with Jasmin to read her short stories about different princesses.
She listened very carefully, she thought along and I had interesting conversations with her.
We thought about what it would be like if Jasmin was a princess and she told:
– Then she would be called Arielle.
– Then everyone should come to her home to celebrate her birthday.
– Then she would have a big princess room, a ring, lots of toys, lots of barbies.
– She would live in a castle right next to the kindergarten.
– She could play piano.
– She would sleep all alone.
Later she told me that she wanted to have more friends.
She asked me: „Martina, Uschi is your friend, isn’t she?“
I affirmed a little perplexed and explained to her that Uschi was my work colleague and my girlfriend.
I was puzzled because even colleagues had not yet noticed this.
This showed me once again how exactly Jasmin perceives and can classify her observations.
She wanted to know why we are friends and I told her that Uschi and I do a lot of things together and that we often like the same things.
Jasmin asked exactly what we do together and also how we make contact after the kindergarten. Her questions were very concrete and I tried to give her concrete answers.
Jasmin wanted to understand exactly how the friendship with Uschi works, she wanted to have everything explained very precisely.
I have never had such a conversation with a child of this age. Her exact asking about a friendship relationship showed me how far and how much Jasmin already thinks.
Comment of the course management:
… and reflect, question, analyse and get information from a more experienced person (you). Reflections, which occur with most at the earliest with puberty.
All in all I can say that we had a lot of fun and laughed a lot.
After these conversations she was always in a very good mood and jumped into the group room. She answered the other children’s questions about what we were doing: „Martina and I, we think“.
From the other children an „Aha“ came, but none of them asked more precisely.
During the last conversation Jasmin decided that she also wanted to have girlfriends and she made it clear:
– We don’t always do what Berin, Amanda and Juline want.
– Everyone can decide.
– I can also do something on my own.
She now had very concrete ideas of what she wanted, and I was curious to see how she would implement them.
Creation of her own „Princess Story“
I suggested that Jasmin could write her own story.
My thought was that she could incorporate her wishes there and also make progress in learning to write.
She was very happy about the idea. She was thinking out loud about what to include in the story, while I was noting down key points.
We met twice in total to write the story.
We thought about short sentences and I wrote the words to her. Jasmin then wrote them off, always including the sounds. Example: The word „ARIELLE“.
An A like Affe (monkey), then an R like Raman, an I like Igel (hedgehog), an E like Esel (donkey), an L like lamp, another L and another E like Esel (donkey).
Just this writing with naming of the letters made Jasmin much joy. She expressed the wish to include „princess stickers“ in the story.
At the first page of the story she asked me to write three words, she said that she couldn’t.
She then wrote all the following words herself.
I read to her what she had thought about. Some things she didn’t want to have in the story anymore, other things we had to add, for example „Arielle likes shoes“.
On both days she wrote two pages in half an hour and wanted to stop afterwards. She ran with the leaves into the group room and proudly showed them around.
I suggested that she laminate the leaves and bind them as a book so that she could read the story in the final circle. Jasmin happily accepted the idea.
Review of objectives
Jasmin has achieved the goals I set for her. From the beginning Jasmin had clear wishes and needs, which she was aware of, but she could not express them and enforce them.
To goal 1:
Jasmin is able to express her wishes and needs.
Jasmin was able to perceive the sensitivities of others well and also to respond to them. She showed consideration, offers of help and a lot of understanding.
Her interpersonal intelligence is apparently very pronounced.
Her own sensitivities were expressed in crying or headaches and stomach pains, sometimes she moaned about tiredness.
In the conversations with her, which were very intensive and long, she showed great perseverance, even though it was always difficult for her to enter the discussion due to her (German) language difficulties.
At the beginning of the project she could not and did not want to talk about her wishes. The „medium“ princess was well suited to get into conversation with her.
She was very interested in the topic. With time she became more and more open and dared to ask questions.
The entire kindergarten group noticed that Jasmin now dared to express wishes and needs.
When the lunch was distributed, Jasmin said to our trainee: „I don’t like chips, I want more sausage, also salad.“ Before she always let herself be given everything.
Jasmin plays a memory game with Nele. Berin comes to the facility and interrupts both of them constantly. Again and again she speaks to Jasmin.
After a short time Jasmin says that she now wants to play with Nele and doesn’t pay any attention to Berin anymore.
To goal 2:
Jasmin is able to enforce her needs and wishes.
Since Jasmin could not express her wishes, it was also difficult for her to implement them.
The other children or even adults could not fulfill her wishes, which probably led to frustration situations for Jasmin again and again.
It is still the case today that Jasmin does not express many of her wishes and needs, but she has begun to do so.
Jasmin told her mother that she needed books. The mother explained that Jasmin had enough books (she has books about ships, cars and fish). Jasmin made it very clear to her mother that she needed other books and suggested that she buy the books together.
Comment of the course leader:
We don’t know what the financial situation of the family is like. Such a direct demand is certainly a great step forward for Jasmin and desirable.
But if this embarrasses her mother, then it would be important to act as a mediator. You should explain that – regardless of the solution found – it is an important developmental step for Jasmin to be able to be so demanding.
It would be important not to leave the mother alone with it. Otherwise she might think at the end that you would make her daughter „rebellious“.
Can the children borrow picture books from you (e.g. over the weekend)?
To supervise such a borrowing library could perhaps also be a task for Jasmin. And she would get a lot of „reading material“.
Jasmin wanted to listen to a CD together with Amanda in the next room and dance to it.
Kevin, one of the elder and very, very energetic boys, decided that he wanted to go to the next room with his friends.
I heard a loud discussion and stood at the door.
Jasmin had stood up in front of Kevin and said: „Kevin, I want to dance with Amanda, I was here first.“
Amanda confirmed this. Kevin yelled out loud: „I want to play here!“
Jasmin saw me and asked: „Martina, I’m here first?“
I made it clear that she was first in the next room and escorted Kevin and his friends out.
This was the first time that Jasmin prevailed over Kevin.
Jasmin, Berin and Juline played up in the big hall. After being downstairs for some time, two girls from another group complained that the three hadn’t cleaned up.
My colleague, who was standing at the door, looked at our girls questioningly.
Jasmin replied, „No, we cleaned up our things, you’ll have to clean up the rest“.
The girls left again.
All in all, one can say that Jasmin is well on her way to fulfilling her wishes and needs.
Jasmin develops her writing skills further
Jasmin was able to copy her name and a few words before this project.
Although it wasn’t easy for her, she wrote the story on two days.
She repeated the letters over and over again and after some time she could write an I, an E, an L and an A without having to look at the letters.
On the first day she wanted to stop after one page. I said to her that she could still do a little.
After two pages her attention could no longer be drawn to the story, she got up, changed the subject, went through the room and made it clear to me that she wanted to stop now.
The same thing happened on the second day.
When the story was finished, she wanted to write a few more words the next day.
She wrote the words: KETTE (chain), MAMA, UHR (clock), dad, princess, melody, ARIELLE and SCHLOSS (castle).
I prescribed these words to her after she had given them to me.
To goal 4:
Jasmin continues to gain self-confidence.
Jasmin has gained a lot of self-confidence. She is able to assert some of her wishes, she is confident with Berin and Juline and dares to contradict the big boys.
I could see that she only looked at a dispute between Amanda and Berin without intervening. She herself painted at the painting table while the two were arguing over colored pencils. Normally she would have intervened and tried to clarify the situation, but this time she only listened and watched briefly to continue her work.
Another time two children fought over a chair. Jasmin was sitting at this table and earlier she would have tried to settle the dispute.
This time she smiled and started counting the children: „Ene, mene, miste…“.
The two children were so surprised that they gave up fighting over the chair.
At the moment she often seems to be doing something on her own – without the restlessness she used to show. Jasmin used to start a lot without finishing anything, but now she seems much calmer.
She plays alone, but she also plays with other children just as often. Both are apparently okay for her.
This was one of the wishes she had for herself and which she has now clarified for herself.
On the whole, I can say that Jasmin has made great progress through individual employment, she has been able to open up and develop. No other child hindered her and she was able to develop her abilities.
Comment of the course leader:
We think it’s very good that at this point in Jasmin’s development you decided to do one-to-one support. It was obviously the method what she needed now to move forward.
Planning for the future
The topic „writing“ is definitely still important for Jasmin.
I will create a box with words that Jasmin and the other children in the writing group can take and work with again and again.
At the „Didacta“ education fair, I bought strips of letters. Here the letters are placed one after the other on a strip. A picture is drawn for each letter, for example A – Apfel (apple) or B – Birne (pear).
I will make these stripes and also their writing exercise booklets directly accessible to the children. So now that the children have received a lot of instruction, they are no longer dependent on me to take time for them.
Comment of the course leader:
The best teacher makes himself superfluous over time.
- This gives Jasmin the opportunity to develop her letter writing skills, and she doesn’t have to wait for us to withdraw.
- Letter games will be used to consolidate and develop what we have learned.
- Jasmin will present her story to all children in the final circle, she is looking forward to it.
- 4-years-old Jasmin will be present at the excursions with the children who enrole school this summer (as well as Raman and Yusuf).
All in all I can say that Jasmin is developing rapidly and is now showing her talents.
At the moment she is not so restless anymore and shows no physical weaknesses, the tiredness has disappeared.
Comment of the course leader:
The somatisation has obviously become superfluous.
For Jasmin it is very important to continue to challenge and encourage her, this can be done on individual basis well as in small groups.
Since Jasmin has just enjoyed the „thought conversations“ and that they helped her on, I will take some time every now and then to withdraw with her.
See also: Three Little Girls Are the „Mind Group“. (German version)
Date of publication in German: 2015, March
Copyright © Martina Böckling, see Imprint