Skip to content
Archive with last of tag-string Vc


3V0932.01 Reading aloud to herself: characterization; French also (8/11/80)

Peggy has often read aloud to herself, does not feel self-conscious
about doing so (But is reluctant to read to ME as witness on P134).
Her reading procedure seems to call upon two sources of information.
The main (at least dominant) one is the picture accompanying the text.
Her reading is a description of what the picture represents — as she
interprets it, (Thus, asking her to read pictures could be a useful
experimental task to prove her procedures of inference). The second
source is specific recall of past readings by others. this is witness
by her reading correctly individual words of the text [outstanding
example: Woo-oof on p. 12 of Angus and the Cat by Marjory Flack,
Doubleday]. The book Peggy has read most frequently is Richard
Scary’s Great Big Schoolhouse.

Peggy’s style of reading has some surprising consequences. She sat on
the floor a few days ago (8/9/80) and pointing to the text on a page
said, “This says ‘kitty’.” The book was in French. When I said, “I didn’t
know you could read French, ” Peggy replied, “I read French.”


3V0942.02 Counting letters: social context of alphabet learning (8/21/80)

So Peggy names her playing with them — and she frequently asks some
one to do that with her. She apparently has in mind companionship
alone and precious little else. Since the only thing she does with letters are:
1. identify individuals;
2. scatter them around;
3. replace them in their tray;
I invented a game to make it more interesting. One of her toy dogs
wants to help her by putting the letter away. she carries them
to the tray on her head then drops them in — because she doesn’t know
where they should go. Peggy corrects the dog’s mistakes (We played so
in P136 I believe)..

The important thing to notice here is that Peggy’s engagement is
primarily so — but it is also focused around the alphabetic symbol
system, the mastery of which is an adult (at least grown up)


3V0965.01 BANG and RING: extending word knowledge (9/13/80)

Peggy can recognize these two words as distinct. She clambered onto
my bed this evening, asking me to read her a Tintin story. We came,
inter alia, across several “bangs” to which Peggy remarked, “That say,
‘BANG’.” As we read on, we came to a picture of a telephone with,
above it, “RRRRING.” I asked Peggy what that word said. She responded,
“That say ‘BANG’.” I asked, “Are you sure?” She studied the picture and
decided, “It say ‘RING’.”

This is an important discrimination not because it shows words at the
core of Peggy’s future knowledge, but because it marks an incident
where she has extended her command of some first word to some
second word. Clearly, the extra alphabetic information signifies the
meanings she puts on the symbols of “RING” by which she has
discriminated it from “BANG.” The next thing to look for is whether
she makes such a discrimination without the pictures. (TRY IN P140.
Take the Tintin to Boston and prepare cards to show her next Sunday.)


3V1001.01 Letter names: beyond those important as people symbols (10/17/80)

I gave Peggy the small coffee table for her use as a desk, put her
puzzles there and a pile of paper from which she takes pieces to
scribble on. She did so today. When first drawing, she would bring me
her papers and ask me to write “Peggy Lawler” on them. When I asked
what she had drawn, she would often point to a part and say a name,
then agree that I should print the name near the place she pointed.
Subsequently, she took up applying) names to parts of drawings when
talking to herself. Today she scribbled a page full and I overheard her
reciting a list of letter names: “E – B – E – C – A – K” (verbatim)
During this same period, she has been reading Richard Scary’s Great Big
School House. I heard her reading to herself the section on alphabets,
identifiable because of her reciting well known phrases, especially a
garbled version of “now I know my ABC’s, what now do you think of me.”

Clearly, Peggy knows a number of letter names — qua-names — and
distinct from that set which she so richly associates with representing
people. Her letter names “E – B – E – C – A – K” overlap only slightly with
the set of significant symbols P (for Peggy), M (for Mimi), G (for
Mommy), S (for Scurry), R (for Robby) and B (for Daddy). Notice also
that she has at least an introductory knowledge of the alphabetic litany
(Probably sung to her by Miriam or with Miriam. Gretchen has also
read this section of the book to her. The specific question this raises is
whether or not Peggy’s letter name knowledge is actually independent
of singing the litany or derived from it (Can we make some test for this
question in P 145?)


3V1004.01 Role Reversal: reading to others (10/20/80)

Bringing some wood inside, I nearly tripped over Scurry at the porch
door. Continuing on, I came close to Peggy also, who censured me
“Don’t step on me, Daddy. Don’t step on Scurry. She’s a good kid,
too.” Scurry is Peggy’s most accessible playmate (and the only
controllable one), so it is not especially surprising that Peggy, holding
Scurry by the leash and so forth (scratching the back and ears
betimes), reading to herself, should claim that she is reading to Scurry.
She knows that Scurry can’t talk and she believes (as questions in P143
and P144 showed) she can’t understand, but she read to her anyway as
she read to her “Bear Hug” the day before. This specific imitation is
more a “role reversal” than a simple imitation. I expect that through
deepening this role imitation, she will become a reader.


3V1006.02 One to one correspondence: words and things (very impt)(10/22/80)

Gretchen was reading to Peggy from “The Big Book of Real Trains.” At
the bottom of each page is a little picture reviewing each of the cars
introduced in the previous pages, each having an engine at the head.
As Gretchen read and turned the pages, Peggy did the following: she
pointed in turn at each car in the train and named them typically thus:
“TUba, DUba, BHUda, Engine.” (This is a specific quotation; though the
phonemes are uncertain, the stress and rhythm was definitely as
marked (in this case by capitalization.

The single most striking aspect of Peggy’s activity was the definite
correspondence of stresses and Peggy’s pointing to the individual cars
of the train. This is a one to one correspondence of names and objects.
Whether we should think of this as derived from the “discovery” of
P139 or as representing a completely separate parallel or as a ground
underlying P139 will take analysis to determine.

NB. Gretchen observed Peggy do this 3-4 times and independently
confirmed the simultaneous pointing.


3V1010.01 Playing with coins: progressive discrimination (10/26/80)

After P143 (where we played with many coins) Peggy found the pile of
change and asked me to join her in playing with them on the floor. As
we did so, Peggy separated them and said, “I’m picking the big pennies
out and putting them on the floor.” This is significant as showing
Peggy’s primary classification of the coins is based on size — further
that the discrimination proceeds by qualification of the THING before
discriminating different kinds of things.


3V1022.01 Like a birdie (2) (11/9/80)

In P146 today, Peggy remarked ( ) that Daddy Long Legs could fly like
a birdy… we should keep our eyes open for other uses of “like” and the
specific contexts so that we can observe the development of her use of simile.


3V1043.01 Singing “offstage”: The Fox (11/30/80)

I tried to get Peggy singing “The Fox went out on a chilly night” during
P149 today. She refused. But this evening, alone in a chair in the living
room while the rest of us were there but otherwise occupied, Peggy
began reading/singing the story. She did fine at first. The initial lines
could not be better known. But soon her voice faded — then returned
with “Come home, Snoopy come home.” Gretchen and I laughed but
Peggy didn’t connect it with her activity.

Snoopy was interrupted as pages turned…. was it the “quack quack
quack” ? or “old mother giggle gaggle”? The latter has a place at last.


3V1058.01 Counting objects: near standard sequence with omissions (12/13/80)

Miriam and Peggy went to visit Mrs. Smith. She keeps toys in her house
for children she takes care of. Peggy selected a ring pyramid and
Miriam (as she later tells the story) inverted the rings. Peggy began
re-stacking the ring and spontaneously reciting number names: “one,
two, three, four, five, six, (seven omitted), eight, nine, ten, eleven,
twelve.” (cf. P150 ? P151? )


3V1066.01 Reading letters: new development (12/23/80)

Peggy often gives evidence of not distinguishing words from letters.
(See especially her play with letters in the past videotaped sessions).
Consequently, it was quite surprising today to hear Peggy saying letter
names as she poked around in Scurry’s food bag. My best appreciation
was that she pointed at random letters and recited names — with
neither order nor correspondence — much as she initially counted.

NB. Gretchen, in the kitchen at the time, called this to my attention.
this is a new development.


3V1069.02 Counting and one-to-one correspondence (12/26/80)

Having bought her two of Beatrix Potter’s books for Christmas, I have
read them over and over to Peggy. At one point in the story of Peter
Rabbit, old Mrs. Rabbit goes to the bakers and buys ‘five current
buns.” I decided to see how Peggy would follow or penetrate what this
meant. I asked, “Do you know why she’s getting five buns ?” Peggy did
not, so I explained by finger counting. “There’s one for everybody
(holding up digits seriatim), Flopsy, Mopsy, cotton-tail, and Peter, and
one for herself.” She imitated my finger raising and said, looking at her
fingers, “Those are little bunnies.” When I stuck out my thumb and
said it was old Mrs. Rabbit, she responded, “No! Benja Bunny.” (He is,
of course, the other ‘little’ rabbit, Peter’s cousin.) (see counting on VT
of P153, 12/28/80)


3V1084.01 Counting Irregularities (1/10/81)

Peggy “counts,” ie. recites the number names in a quasi-standard
fashion. (omitting “seven” more often than including it.) Although she
has put objects in one to one correspondence, she has not done so
successfully in the standard sense. She counted on her fingers today
showing no non-standard variations. First she counted on her fingers,
at some point reciting several number names before going on. She
stopped (was there here a global criticism that she didn’t have twelve
fingers on one hand), she started again at the number three.

I believe (1/25/81) she is very close to being able to apply the number
names to objects in the standard fashion. Today, P157 (i.e. 3;0;2) we
want to try finger counting.
I believe (1/25/81) she is very close to being able to apply the number
names to objects in the standard fashion. Today, P157 (i.e. 3;0;2) we
want to try finger counting.


3V1102.01 Playing with toys: using animals as manipulatable actors (1/28(81)

Recently Peggy has frequently climbed on my lap after dinner, bringing a small collection
of animal toys with her. Frequently the horses (Calico and Blue Mane) and Gretchen’s old rabbit
and mouse are the main actors.

Peggy takes one animal and gives me another, e.g., ‘Will you be Scurry-baby ?’
When we agreed, the next question from her actor ‘What shall we do now, Scurry Baby ?’
Our actors discuss that, then play hide and seek, or chase, or eat-ice-cream. This particular sort of
relation appears important to Peggy as witnessed by her preference regularly, for playing this game.
Videotape P158 begins with such a game.


3V1109.02 Trip to Logo: typical stories (2/14-15/81)

Peggy, Robby and I went to MIT after story hour. Danny Moore came to the lab late in the afternoon and I tended Peggy while Robby played with him. What I recall of this time is that Peggy and I went to DSRE for my Spencer Foundation letter, spent a few minutes in Andy’s office till Robby was free (we played with tinker toys — that is, Peggy did, making ‘things’ for me while I looked over my letters and so forth. for a while, Peggy played at the typewriter in my office (The effect of this is shown most clearly in VT P160.)

Robby wanted much more to do other things than care for Peggy, for example read comic books or play adventure on the Apple. Later in the evening, I found him doing so and asked Peggy how she liked it. ‘It’s terrible.’ was her comment.

That evening, back at Mrs. Tack’s, as I was climbing into bed, Peggy asked if she could tell me the story about the Pig family. I agreed and she began. Once upon a time, there were three little pigs and they lived in a house in the woods. There was Mommy Pig and Daddy Pig and Robby Pig and Mimi Pig and Peggy Pig — oh, oh — Peggy Piggy, I never heard of that.’ (This last is an idiom for Peggy pointing out the outlandish quality of Peggy Piggy.) The next day, my most common remote sight was of the two playing near but separately in the Childrens Learning Laboratory. Several times I saw them lolling together in a couple bean bag chairs. Later Robby told me what they were doing — telling stories. this is typical of his :
‘Once upon a time, a little girl in a red coat was walking through the woods. A big wolf came up and wanted to eat her, so she pulled out her machine gun and cut him down. The end.’

He reported this variation on the Pig Family Story (the only one Peggy told ) :
Once upon a time, the Pig family lived in the woods. there was a Mommy and a Daddy Pig and three children : Flopsy, Cottontail, and Peter. It was bedtime. They went up and up and up and up and up and up and up the stairs and went to bed.

During the afternoon, we went to the Children’s Museum while Robby played with the computers at Logo. Peggy slid about on the giant’s telephone, drove the car, slid down the slide of the infant’s castle — found a ring tower toy and put it together directly. She most remembered — indeed asked to go upstairs to see — the traffic light. On the floor above, she found little to interest her in the computers, but did play with a set of mirror-enclosed, plastic chips. She did a quick tour of the doll houses. Following more play with the wonderful waterfull, toy trains, and the giant’s desk, we rode the subway back to Tech Square. Peggy and I both had a delightful time. A little more work, and we left for home. Peggy slept during the entire trip.

note : 2/15/81 Since then, Peggy has pestered Robby to tell her stories… he does so with even less detail than the sample above.


3V112201 Same vs. Different: different animals, same activities (2/17/81)

Peggy sat in my lap, playing her animal game (see examples in videotape, e.g. P162). I tired of it and she volunteered, ‘I know…let’s play a different game.’ I agreed enthusiastically, so she got from her toy box two different animals, sat in my lap and asked, ‘What do you want to do now, animal-name ?’ I asked, ‘Is this a different game or the same game ?’ she responded, ‘A different game.’… but it proved not so.


3V1155.01 Cuisenaire rods: playing with them after experiments (3/22/81)

Guessing games
Peggy had used Cuisenaire rods in the immediately previous videotape. Somehow she got hold of them again and I became aware that she was laying them out [Bob had, I think, tried to see if she would build a “stair.”] As she did so, she ran her finger along and chanted, “They get smaller,,, they get tinier…they get bigger…”


3V1169.01 Recognizing “By” in another context: Asterix book (4/5/81)

Peggy asked me to read “Asterix in Britain.” On page 6 (bottom) there appears a balloon with “Attack by Juno” in large capitals. As I was reading near the top of the page, Peggy pointed to “BY” and said, “That says ‘BY’.”

Now it appears that all (?) two letter words (sandwiched between larger words on separate lines) are read as “BY” — we want to see if other small words (1 & 3 letters) will be denied to be “BY” and if other two letter words alone will be recognized, rejects as “BY” (not sandwiched) and whether other sandwiched words will be all identified as “BY”. Experiment for P167.


3V1171.01 Letter names versus Meanings: now even “the mommy letter” is blind coded.(4/7/81)

In the last experiment, P167, Peggy made a distinction I have observed otherwheres since. When asked the name of any letter, she would reply “D”, no matter what the letter was, no matter what meaning it had for her. For example, she called “G” “D” even though “G” means Gretchen. Where once she referred to it as “the Mommy letter,” she now attempts, albeit erroneously, to assign the culture’s “blind-coded” names.


3V1181.01 Blocks microworld: “Clever little blocks” (4/17/81)

Peggy was introduced to computers with P168 and P169. We talked a little today about what she was doing with the computer upstairs. She replied that she was “making the blocks walk.” I asked if she was able to make the blocks turn yet. She replied, “No, they turn themselves.” (they turn 180 degrees by demon intervention at screen edge.) When I asked her why (fishing for her recall of the anthropomorphic metaphor, of their turning around when they encounter a wall) she answered, “They’re clever little blocks.”

Besides being true, Peggy’s observation is interesting because she is applying to these computational objects the label “clever” which she has recently applied with clear pride and self-congratulation (applied) to herself. These past few weeks, it has been clearly important to Peggy that she calls herself
“clever.” Frequently, when she has done something we approve of or find amusing, we say, “You’re a clever little rabbit,” oftimes accompanied by a hug or some other expression of affection. The expression comes by paraphrase from a nonsense verse of Walt Kelly’s”
“See the rabbits in the wood
..Eating porridge as they should…
…..Those clever little bunnies….”
Another example of Peggy’s feeling for the computer arose when I decided to bring it downstairs (to free up a table for working on my chain saw.) She pestered me a little, “When are you going to bring down the beautiful computer?”


3V1184.01 Blocks microworld: Moving Blocks (4/20/81)

Peggy has experienced a number of insights in her developing control of the little blocks microworld. The record of her discovery of “BK” is in P169. This is a significant and meaningful operation for her when the block has a forward velocity. In the case “BK” interrupts the velocity for a jump back, after which continued forward movement goes on. Peggy said (?) this is a “neat phenomenon.”


3V1185.01 Computer at home: TI-99 (4/21/81)

I finally brought home a TI-99 from the Logo lab. The machine’s storage extension is very flakey and the tape recorder would not work well for the first week or so. Consequently it was hard to program little systems for Peggy. We began using the computer in experiments with P169. The video quality of the firs two sessions was poor because lighting was inadequate. P171 is much better.

Peggy’s first use of the computer was simple letter -keying… it was an electronic typer, a keyboard with an output she could see. She liked very much to turn off the computer then restart. She was thrilled to be able to control the appearance of the start up design… Which she described thus, “Daddy, I made the science.” She continues (5/11/81) fascinated with controlling the hardware, inserting audio tapes (at random) into the recorder and pressing its buttons. I have tried hard to let her help, interpreting for her the I-O directions printed on the display and instructing her when to press enter. (We should capture this on P172 later today.)

The enculturation aspect showed up very clearly in the first appearance of technical jargon (4/21). When a problem occurred, Peggy turned toward me and said, “Daddy, it’s the same problem. There’s a bug in you bacedure.” [sic]


3V1188.01 Piecemeal discovery from playing with TI BLOCKS (4/24/81)

Peggy’s grasp of what she could do with this micro-world has been delightfully piece meal. The first and most striking thing was learning to make the blocks walk. I seem to recall this happened in the first session. The next discovery was the BACK command. It was a discovery in the sense of being discriminated from others and producing a regular consequence from its execution. What made it her discovery ? No one else had imagined the effect of using BACK when a block was WALKing (the block hops backward in its forward path). Peggy discovered this in P170 (online). The next discrimination, a consequence of direct instruction in response to a question from her was how to select a new object of commands. I recall asking Peggy is she could make blocks other than the black (the default object) move. She was sad and said, “No.” I flatly asserted that SHE could and she asked me to show her how. I did so. (This was the Saturday before P171, I believe.) On the date of this note, Peggy changed the object she was commanding. I asked if she had [done] so on purpose or by accident. Peggy responded by changing the object of command to a different one, then smiled at me. Her turning command control may not yet be perfect (right from left) but she does discriminate between the turning commands and the others.


3V1247.02 Past tense and conditionals (6/22/81)

For the past month or so, Peggy has been forming past tenses in the typical non-standard way — ie. RUN, RUNNED. (I will have to see if I can get her to discuss this in the next session, P181 now) — to get at the question raised by Seigler of the transformation from chaotic to “rule-governed” behavior.)
Further, Peggy seems to be using conditionals with understanding.


3V1267.01 Computer-based cuisenaire rods (7/12/81)

Peggy enjoyed playing with the Cuisenaire rods during out experiment P181. Either in that one or the next P182, Peggy first accomplished a set of “stairs.”

After the end of the experiment, she continued playing with rods and I heard her mention (at a point where she omitted the 3-length green rod from a series) “Oops. I left out the poor little green one.” After knocking them over and restarting, she went on to omit the 4-length and said something similar – perhaps “left out the purple-y”


3V1275.01 Computer “rods” (7/20/81)

Seeing the trouble she had with the rods always falling over, I asked is a Rods microworld would be easier to manipulate and thus intellectually more accessible to her. So I proceeded to make one, substituting (a later idea) the blinking of numbers in place of partial blanks — that is the active rod is so indicated by its number name flashing at the center (end unit) of rotation.

After introducing this system (P182) later the same day, Peggy;s spontaneously adopted the objective of building a set of stairs on the table and achieved that objective. Since then, she has usually made such a construct whenever she plays with it.

This is not entirely true — for Peggy has used the active rod (usually the white one) driving it over the other rods to make them disappear. I left this feature in the system as a child-correctable bug — ie when a rod has holes in it, it can be repaired by rekeying it’s number name. when I saw Peggy had made all the rods disappear, I asked her where they were. Miriam responded that Peggy had made the white one “eat” them . I don’t know if the idea and word were Miriam’s or Peggy’s.


3V177303 At the Center (11/30/82)

Barbara Porter came yesterday with five kids (one mine) to the Center. Peggy brought Wendy with her and acted very friendly with her. Barbara brought sons Gregoire and Laurant and Gregoire’s friend Alden. The kids, of course, played differently. The three boys were aggressive and Laurant (older by a couple years that the 5’s understood what was happening. The others competed for the chance to muddle through the experience..

After showing Wendy her DRAW procedure on TI, at my suggestion, Peggy stepped back to let the others play. She drew on some computer paper. Wendy and Gregoire also did so eventually…..

We talked, among other things, about Peggy at school…. Barbara proposing we parents both come for an “observation — where we would go into the kitchen and peer out at the kids through a one way mirror. Then discuss whatever situation with the teacher, Los. Barbara also proposed Peggy should invite friends over to our house in the afternoon to play.


Peggy Study, Panel P026

Themes: Pre-Conversation, Object Play, Sibling Play
Source: (Lawler); date: 7/24/1978

Text commentary: these clips capture what was everyday and what uncommon in Peggy’s context; Peggy at six months.

P26A1 Pre-Conversation, 24mb

P26A2 Mirror Baby, 13mb

P26A3 Using Her Spoon, 14mb

P26B1 Objects On The Floor, 28mb

P26B2 Objects On The Floor, 25mb

P26C1 Sibling Interactions, 18mb

P26C2 Mirror Baby, 10mb

P26C3 Miriam Rolls Her Over, 11mb


Peggy Study, Panel P040

Themes: Social Interactions, Communications, and Object Interaction
Source: (Lawler); date: 10/31/1978

Title: Pre-Language Communication and Object Understanding
Text commentary: GPL feeds Peggy in her usual fashion, then urges Peggy to choose between two objects. Peggy does NOT understand what is expected of her but vaguely suggests some preference for the doll by reaching initially in its direction. Peggy plays with Bob’s pipe and he “talks to her/with her.” These activities are not important in respect of any claims made here about Peggy’s understanding, but more as documentation of what “comes naturally” in her social context. Similarly, her play with both rolling objects and her standard set of objects continues documenting her repertoire of actions and understandings.

P40A GPL Feeding Peggy, 24mb

P40B Object Choice, 8mb

P40C Pipe Play/Communication, 29mb

P40D1 Rolling, with Mirror, 27mb

P40D2 Rolling, without Mirror, 19mb

P40E Standard Objects, 17mb


Peggy Study, Video P042

Themes: Language Development, pre-Pointing, Object Exploration
Source: (Lawler); date: 11/13/1978

Text commentary: what this video shows; why it is important

P42A1 pre-Conversation, 19mb

P42A2 pre-Conversation, 20mb

P42B Choice and Pointing, 15mb

P42C1 Blocks Box, 16mb

P42C2 Blocks Box, 19mb

P42D Giving a Ball, with GPL, 15mb

P42E1 Standard Objects, 19mb

P42E2 Standard Objects, 17mb


Peggy Study, Panel P044

Themes: Pointing/Communication, Object Exploration
Source: (Lawler); date: 11/27/1978

Text commentary: These clips show ??; Why important ??

P44A1 Pointing, 21mb

P44A2 Pointing, 24mb

P44B Ball and Ring Tower, 29mb

P44C1 Cups and Blocks, 18mb

P44C2 Cups and Blocks, 20mb

P44D Nesting Boxes, 20mb


Peggy Study, Panel P49

Themes: Communication & Pointing, Object Exploration, Family Interactions
Source: (Lawler); date: 1/1/1979

Text commentary: These clips show ??; Why important ??

P49A1 Body Parts w/GPL, 8mb

P49A2 Pointing w/GPL, 11mb

P49A3 Body Parts w/GPL, 4mb

P49B1 Pointing with Miriam, 10mb

P49B2 Enter Scurry (the dog), 10mb

P49C In the Walker,with Robby, 10mb

P49D Mirror Baby, with Bob, 10mb

P49E1 Standard Objects, 30mb

P49E2 Walking with Aid, 9mb

P49E3 Standard Objects, 12mb

P49F1 Standard Objects, 11mb

P49F2 Pointing at Pictures, 8mb

P49F3 Peggy on TV, 4mb


Peggy Study, Panel P50

Themes: Pointing and Talking, Object Knowledge, Book related behavior
Source: (Lawler); date: 1/8/1979

Text commentary: These clips show ??; Why important ??

P50A In the High Chair, 29mb

P50B Pointing & Talking, 22mb

P50C1 Blocks and Boxes, 10mb

P50C2 Peggy in the TV, 6mb

P50D1 Standard Objects, 16mb

P50D2 Standard Objects, 27mb

P50E1 With a Book, 26mb

P50E2 With a Book, 6mb