In the "Learning Strategies for Gifted Children" course, action oriented learning and working strategies are offered that are essential in educational contexts. It is primarily designed for children in grades three to nine (8-16 years old). The course initially consists of a compact course covering three modules; "Learning Techniques", "Languages" and "Newspapers".
The children are arranged in small groups to participate in the individual modules, with the compact seminar running over three days using a day for each module. For accompanying parents, counselling and instruction is provided as part of the course concept. This course has been tried and tested over several years now with more than 400 children in cities all over Germany.
A one-day follow-up seminar with a focus on "Motivation and Presentation Skills" is offered six months later building on the compact course. Past experience has shown that this seminar combination is extremely important in achieving lasting improvements in learning and working behaviours.
Learning Techniques Module
The basic learning and working strategies that are used in both, the Language and Newspaper Modules, are discussed in the Learning Techniques Module. In addition to general work organisation during the learning process, specific techniques for particular areas are addressed depending on the school requirements.
On one hand the teaching of learning techniques refers to the difficulties children face when using German spelling and when learning vocabulary in a foreign language. After a promotion diagnosis, students learn to use elements of the Lega Optima ® Programme strategies that meet their individual error priorities as well as their particular learning style.
On the other hand, strategies for studying a text are taught. In this process, the children learn to use their strengths to address their specific difficulties. In addition to general literacy skills, special structuring aids for text preparation are taught so that students can comprehend the content of different texts more easily.
The main focus of this course is on learning and testing fundamental vocabulary learning strategies. In collaboration with the children motivating and individual ways are sought to effectively learn new words in a foreign language. In each course these strategies will be taught in two of the foreign languages English, French or Spanish.
As particular emphasis is placed on action orientation, this course strongly differs from the traditional language learning experience and the children are more motivated. When applying the strategies in concrete situations, the students try different ways of learning and reflect upon the individual use of the strategies in the school context.
Besides effective memorising strategies, effective repetition opportunities for children and adolescents are of great importance in this course. Following the "mini-max principle" ("as little as possible and only as much as is needed") different ways to repeat the respective languages are tested with the students.
A journalist writes his texts according to certain rules which can be easily applied, for example, in German classes. The newspaper course teaches children and adolescents writing techniques and text development strategies that will help them to reduce writing barriers. In an almost playful way they learn what it takes to write an essay or a table of contents.
Most students use the computer for writing their texts which promotes the professional use of the computer as well as the students’ motivation for the course. In addition, when technically feasible, the children and adolescents achieve the basic knowledge of internet research. The search for literature always forms the basic module of the newspaper course.
Due to the small group sizes, it is possible to cater to each student’s individual needs. At the end of the course the children and adolescents receive a copy of the newspaper they have jointly created as the product of their work, serving as a reminder for the future.
Ansprechpartner: Sarah Schulte ter Hardt