Bearnice

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 27 January 2015

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

My friend Judy Murcutt rang and told me she would be bringing me a teddy bear which had the same base as the persona dolls I am making. She said I could take it apart and use the frame to make another doll.

But, as with Felicity, when the bear arrived it was far too beautiful to deconstruct.
So I named her Bearnice and and gave her a back story.

Bernice’s story

There’s a bear in there!

It is the first day of the new school year and you, dear teacher, are meeting your class for the first time.
And one of the students is a bear – a very much alive bear in a folk art dress, jacket and apron, with an engaging smile and an intelligent sparkle in her eyes, carrying a basket of gingerbread men.
It must be a mistake of some kind. No teacher could be expected to teach a bear!
You check with the admissions officer and are told “Oh, that is Bearnice.”

“What am I supposed to do with her?” you ask.

“You need to make sure she learns all that she is expected to learn in your grade this year”

“But she doesn’t speak the same language as we do!”
“You have taught students who have English as a Second Language in the past.”

So now you have a few options.
You could ignore Bearnice altogether – maybe she will just go away.  But you wouldn’t do that, would you?

You could assume she must really be like all the other students (maybe she is just dressed up as a bear and when she is comfortable enough in the class she will remove the disguise)
But in your heart you know that is not likely to happen. She really is a bear.

You could find out more about bears in general and Bearnice in particular. Learning about her needs, interests, abilities and passions may show you why she was put in your class.

You can learn from her and find out what you can do to help her fulfil her potential and complete whatever mission she has. Maybe she has something to contribute that could save the planet!

And here are
The Messages contained in the Story:

Some gifted or 2E twice exceptional students seem to be so different from the other students in the class.
You may have difficulty communicating with them for many different reasons.
They may be a long way ahead of the class in some areas and have gaps or weaknesses in other areas.
When you get to know the student personally you may find that they have specific areas of interest and specialized knowledge and a sense of being on a mission.

(Spoiler Alert: Bearnice already has extensive knowledge about and a desire to remedy the decrease in bee populations)

Fotobabble at http://www.fotobabble.com/m/d2tZRDhJYStGTU09 

 

 

The Memory Elephant in the Room

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 21 January 2015

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Since the arrival of Edward the Autonomous  I have decided that I will definitely create a set of six persona dolls to represent the six students in Betts and Neihart’s Profiles of the Gifted and Talented and I will create a separate blog for the persona dolls. (More about all that soon in another post)

Then I decided to add the 5 Dabrowski dogs and the Perfectionist Poodle to the set.
My search for soft toy dogs or patterns to make them showed me several expensive options and then led to a large white dog with a Christmas hat and scarf for $3 sitting in a basket of toys at the back of an Op Shop. I did not buy him when I first saw him; but the more I thought about him, the more I thought he would be suitable.
So the following day I phoned the shop and yes, he was still there. So I took a bus ride to collect him.

On the way I passed another Op Shop and I spotted an elephant rocker sitting outside the shop. It did not have a price tag on it and I know that rocking horses can be very expensive. I went in and asked the price of the elephant.
“Elephant?” said the lady “I didn’t know we had an elephant!” (Just like when I found Felicity) She suggested a very reasonable price and I carried home my Memory Elephant as well as the white dog!

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Edward the Autonomous

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 4 December 2014

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

And now there are three!

My friend Judy Murcutt brought me another doll last week. Judy has been helping me to locate materials and work out methods for creating persona dolls. She asked several of her friends who are keen on craft work and has been given new leads. One of them gave Judy a doll frame which had been standing in her garden to scare away possums. She thought I would be able to take it apart and see how it had been put together and she did not want it back.

I was able to see how the doll had been put together and have repaired and clothed it and it has become Edward, a sensitive botany and animal loving gifted boy. Edward is a little professor who dresses in a rather old fashioned manner, plays the recorder and other instruments and reads classical literature. Although quiet and peace loving he is very interested in knights, Arthurian legend and life in mediaeval times. That is a leather bound copy of Ivanhoe he is clutching.
I am having a great deal of fun with these dolls and think there must be a divine purpose behind them because there have been so many amazing coincidences in the finding and making of all of them.
I am just waiting to find out where it is all leading and said jokingly that maybe I would end up with a full set of persona dolls representing Neihart and Betts Profiles of the Gifted and Talented.

http://www.ingeniosus.net/archives/dr-george-betts-and-dr-maureen-neihart-share-revised-profiles-of-gifted

I am half way there.

Sprite is definitely an example of the 2E Profile.

Felicity is either an example of the Successful Profile or the Underground Profile.

And Edward is a prime example of the Autonomous Learner Profile. Edward reads voraciously and can often be seen examining plants and insects with a magnifying glass. He loves science experiments. He is happy in his own skin and pursues his own learning at his own pace in his own distinct manner. It is very appropriate that he is wearing the ‘Do what is most sensible’ Brown Brogues. He would also be comfortable in the Investigative Grey Sneakers.

So now I need to create Vincent (Vince) the At Risk Profile graffiti artist, a Creative Profile character and either a Successful Profile or  an Underground Profile character.

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Sprite as a Persona Doll

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 30 October 2014

As you may remember I decided to make a Sprite Persona Doll and bought a pattern and some trimmings.

And here she is!

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

I used a pattern for the largest size of Raggedy Anne doll but I embroidered the face of the Sprite doll I had envisaged.

I already had the calico and the filling I needed and found a wig and clothes in opportunity shops. The cost of the pattern and extra materials I needed to make her was approximately $25.00.

For Sprite’s Persona Biography see https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/could-sprite-be-a-persona-doll/

Photos Jo Freitag

Photos Jo Freitag

My next task will be to make Biography Journals for both Sprite and Felicity

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Sprite to be

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 16 October 2014

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Since I wrote the blog posts for Gifted Resources blog and Sprite’s Site about Persona dolls I have been considering buying a 70 cm doll and dressing it as Sprite or sewing a calico doll from scratch. I searched the Internet and found that dolls could be purchased from the UK but it would be quite expensive and possibly take a long time to arrive.
I could purchase a pattern and I have just discovered that we do have a shop in Rosebud where I can get patterns, fabrics and craft supplies.
But God gave me a special blessing today! I walked into an Opportunity Shop which I visit fairly often and, right beside the counter, there she was – hiding her face and just waiting for me!
She cost the same amount as a pattern and must have just arrived as one of the store staff had not known she was there and the other said she was not there last week.
As I carried her through the shopping centre several people stopped me to comment on her, saying they thought I was carrying a real child until they looked closer.

Photo Jo Freitag

Photo Jo Freitag

Could Sprite be a Persona Doll?

Originally posted on Sprite’s Site blog 13 October 2014

spritedoll01

Image by Jo Freitag 2014

 

Recently I received a request from a teacher to answer some questions relating to giftedness to help her develop a persona doll for an assignment she was doing.

She supplied this information about persona dolls and the doll she intended to create.

“A persona doll is a doll developed by a practitioner/educator to enable children to gain an awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of different backgrounds and lifestyles as well as to help children learn strategies for dealing with unfairness against themselves and others.
The dolls are given personalities, family and cultural backgrounds, likes and dislikes and the stories that are created around them enable children to explore positive and negative emotions.
To be able to develop one, I need to research and consult with children and their families to develop the persona doll identity and story. This is to avoid stereotypes and to provide an authentic representation of the children and their challenges.
I believe that developing a persona doll about giftedness can also be a way to advocate because children, families and educators where it will be shared will be cognizant of the current realities and difficulties faced by children that are gifted.”

I wrote a post about Persona Dolls for Gifted Resources blog at http://giftedresources.wordpress.com/2014/10/12/persona-dolls/

She then asked a large number of detailed questions about ethnic, socio-economic and cultural conditions and everyday life matters to help her build a unique and authentic persona for her doll.

She would have liked to ask the questions to my youngest child also, hoping to hear a child’s voice expressed. Our youngest is now in his late twenties; so was not able to provide the child voice.

After replying that gifted children can be found in every ethnic, socio-economic and religion group so she could choose whatever background she felt most comfortable to use when developing her persona doll; I answered the giftedness related questions and some of the everyday life issues questions using my twice exceptional blog character, Sprite, to personalise the answers.

I was delighted to find that I was able to give quite a detailed portrait of Sprite from references to posts in the blog. I provided this picture.

Image by Jo Freitag

Image by Jo Freitag

Here are my replies to some of her questions.

ABOUT SPRITE

Name:  Sprite https://spritessite.wordpress.com/about-2/

Age: Not specified – a pre-teenager in middle – upper primary school but about six years ahead of age group for academic level

Cultural background: Australian

Gender: Female

Area of giftedness: Intellectually gifted with passionate interests in sciences (especially astronomy) https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/talkfest/ 
Hobbies are playing guitar and playing with her imaginary friends. All her toys have complicated back stories and she likes to make banners for them and set them up to stage protest marches https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/marches/

Is giftedness diagnosed? Sprite has been assessed as being in the exceptionally/profoundly gifted range http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/highly_profoundly.htm
by a psychologist with specialist knowledge of giftedness and her (unspecified) learning difficulties/different learning styles have been diagnosed by education consultants like the (fictitious) Dr. Ed Needs https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

Sprite has a Visual Spatial Learner style of learning
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/visual-spatial-learners/
http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/vsl.htm

Sprite has a Memory Elephant. The Memory Elephant is a personification of memory and the Visual Spatial Learner’s style of thinking https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/memory-elephant/

Character traits

As with many gifted people Sprite is an introvert and has many intensities and sensitivities including Dabrowski’s Over excitabilities which are depicted as the Five Dabrowski Dogs and can be prone to depression depicted by the Black Dogs
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/about-the-characters/

I have checked whether my readers perceive Sprite in the way I intended to portray her and have found that they did

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/07/16/gifted-island-challenge-2-getting-to-know-myself-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/09/03/gifted-island-challenge-2-getting-to-know-myself-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends-the-results-are-in/

Class or Socioeconomic Status

Gifted children come from every social class, socioeconomic and ethnic group and religious background. So how you depict your own Persona Doll is up to you and will influence your response to the cultural and lifestyle questions

For myths about giftedness see http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/columbuscheetah.htm

Languages spoken: Sprite speaks English (she would like to learn other languages)

Religion: Sprite is a Christian. Her faith is very important for her and she thinks very deeply about it and asks many questions. She has been asking questions about life and death, God, the universe, ecosystems, philosophy etc since she was very young.

What holidays does she celebrate? She celebrates Christmas https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/christmas/  and Easter https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/easter/ She wonders whether she should celebrate Halloween herself but the Dabrowski Dogs always dress up for it https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/halloween/ She also likes playing tricks on 1st April https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/april-fools-day
Socio-economic group: She is from a middle class socio-economic group neither extremely wealthy nor extremely poor

Sleep
Sprite, like many gifted children, has difficulty getting to sleep. Her brain is so active that she has trouble switching off. She is a perfectionist and will mentally review the happenings of the day and what she should/should not have done or said in the situations.She has a vivid imagination and is sure that the shadow on the wall is Leaping Attack Black Dog coming to get her.  She also has vivid dreams https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/all-the-dabrowski-dogs-part-3/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/11/27/is-there-a-dimmer-switch-for-the-memory-elephant-2/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/visit-the-pyramids-with-the-memory-elephant/

Social/friendships issues

Sprite has trouble relating to children her own age as she has very different interests which she likes to discuss at great length https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/friendships/

Food
Sprite likes most foods and her favourite flavour is chocolate.
She has been fortunate enough to try food from many different cultures.
However because of sensual overexcitabilities she does not like some textures of food such as mushy or sloppy foods. So she likes to keep food of different types separate on the plate. She also does not like food that is very spicy or too acidic or too fatty. She is not allergic to any foods but knows that many people can be.

Her friend, the gifted Twitter Bird chick, Tweetelle, has become a ‘seedetarian’ for moral reasons https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/tweetelle-becomes-a-seedetarian/

Clothes
Sprite’s favourite colour is blue and her favourite clothes are a blue skirt or shorts and a blue tee shirt. Because of sensual over excitabilities she does not like scratchy materials and does not like tags left on her clothes or having seams on her socks.

Shoes are very important (see under Do you have a tailored program?) Her favourite shoes are her De Bono pillow soft pink slippers.

She does enjoy dressing up
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/avatar-album/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2012/04/05/avatar-album-2/
https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2010/01/06/portrait-of-sprite-at-her-p-party/

Does she have a tailored program?

Sprite’s Site blog is about finding the educational provisions that will be most suitable for Sprite as a twice exceptional student.
She needs to be challenged in her areas of strength and supported in her areas of weakness.
Feetspeak: 2E shoes is about planning programs that will be suitable for gifted students who also have a learning difficulty or different learning style using Edward De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes as the planning tool and road testing their effectiveness using Gagne’s DMGT model.
Sprite is always depicted as having an injured left ankle and needing to wear different shoes on each foot to illustrate the concept that she needs different educational provisions for both her giftedness and her disability.

http://www.giftedresources.org/gr/feetspeakforweb01.htm

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/2011/02/12/casting-sprites-education-in-a-new-form-part-1/

https://spritessite.wordpress.com/tag/debono-6-action-shoes/

So could a Sprite Persona Doll be useful to advocate for the understanding of gifted or twice exceptional students? Imaginational Dabrowski and I think she could.

I began to consider the idea of buying a persona doll
http://www.persona-doll-training.org/ukresources.html
http://www.amazeworks.org/store/p_pdoll.html
and dressing it as my Sprite (I already have all the mini versions of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes and a mini plaster cast); or of sewing one myself.

I found sewing instructions here http://www.livingcrafts.com/blog/doll-room/a-doll-for-every-child

This is what I imagine a Sprite 2E twice exceptional persona doll would look like.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Persona Dolls

Posted on Gifted Resources Blog on October 12, 2014

Recently I received a request from a teacher to answer some questions relating to giftedness to help her develop a persona doll for an assignment she was doing.

She supplied this information about persona dolls and the doll she intended to create.

A persona doll is a doll developed by a practitioner/educator to enable children to gain an awareness and understanding of the richness and diversity of different backgrounds and lifestyles as well as to help children learn strategies for dealing with unfairness against themselves and others.
The dolls are given personalities, family and cultural backgrounds, likes and dislikes and the stories that are created around them enable children to explore positive and negative emotions.
To be able to develop one, I need to research and consult with children and their families to develop the persona doll identity and story. This is to avoid stereotypes and to provide an authentic representation of the children and their challenges.
I believe that developing a persona doll about giftedness can also be a way to advocate because children, families and educators where it will be shared will be cognizant of the current realities and difficulties faced by children that are gifted.”

She then asked a large number of detailed questions about ethnic, socio-economic and cultural conditions and everyday life matters to help her build a unique and authentic persona for her doll.

She would have liked to ask the questions to my youngest child also, hoping to hear a child’s voice expressed. Our youngest is now in his late twenties; so was not able to provide the child voice.

After replying that gifted children can be found in every ethnic, socio-economic and religion group so she could choose whatever background she felt most comfortable to use; I answered the giftedness related questions and some of the everyday life issues questions using my twice exceptional blog character, Sprite, to personalise the answers.

I have written a separate blog post about my answers for a post on Sprite’s Site and will include the link here
http://spritessite.wordpress.com/2014/10/13/could-sprite-be-a-persona-doll/

I have enjoyed searching the Internet for information about Persona Dolls.

Here are some of the interesting and helpful sites I found.

http://www.persona-doll-training.org/ukhome.html

http://www.amazeworks.org/curriculum/personadolls.html

https://extranet.education.unimelb.edu.au/ceiec/DiversityDolls/index.html

http://www.montessori.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/99725/issue_66.pdf

http://www.teachingforchange.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/ec_personadolls_english.pdf

http://maisiareflections.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/personas/

I began to consider the idea of buying a persona doll here http://www.persona-doll-training.org/ukresources.html

or here http://www.amazeworks.org/store/p_pdoll.html

and dressing it as my Sprite (I already have all the mini versions of De Bono’s 6 Action shoes and a mini plaster cast); or of sewing one myself.

I found sewing instructions here
http://www.livingcrafts.com/blog/doll-room/a-doll-for-every-child

This is what I imagine a Sprite 2E twice exceptional persona doll would look like.

Image Jo Freitag

Image Jo Freitag

Hello World!

 

Welcome to my new blog.
I am inviting you to come on an adventure with me. I do not know what the end results will be.

On this blog I will record the happenings as they unfold and the stories relating to a particular group of persona dolls.

I am importing several blog posts from Gifted Resources blog and Sprite’s Site blog to get us started.

The adventure began when a teacher contacted me asking for information about giftedness in order to assist her in making a persona doll to represent a gifted student…….