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3V1421.01 Reading Test (in P203/K27) (12/13/81)

In P203/K27 (which began with Peggy’s first captured dance), I gave Peggy a reading test based on two groups of words — the first from her reading of books; the second from her computer experiences. From the first group of words she recognized only “NO.” (Gretchen has been reading her “The Quiet-Noisy Book” — which makes much of the word “NO.”) and “Peggy” (which she first read as “GREEN”; she declared it Peggy only after I pushed her to justify her decision and she said “P,E,G,G,Y… Peggy.” The other words, some of which I expected her to recognize were [STOP, BANG, RING, SCURRY, CRACK, LAWLER, DING, BY].
Of the 27 computer experience words, Peggy recognized 13 and failed to recognize 14.


Not Recognized: READING (OK on the computer), DOWN, QUILT, BLACK, HALT, BOY (She noted yesterday this word was a man, which was her interpretation.) INSTRUCTIONS, CITY, FACE, EYE [“face”], PIG (she could not read the word, but when I asked is she could spell PIG, she looked at the Apple and responded “P, I, G”…she can write it but not read it yet). RT, RODS, PICK

What do I make of this ? Some words are stable and over learned. Examples are : ZOOM, SUN, CAR, RECALL. Other words are recognizable but not stable, e.g. SHOOT, BLACK, EYE. One can expect that this transient reading vocabulary will either be stabilized by frequent use or will be forgotten – reduced to confusion with other more dominant words.

At this point, Peggy;s word recognition is not principled. She is not entirely (or even much) sensitive to letter order as a word discriminator, i.e. she should be expected to regularly confuse words such as TRAP and TARP and even couples such as DOG and GOD. On the other hand, she is strongly committed to a left right, letter at a time “reading” and justification.

It is not the case that Peggy is a “reader.” she is however, a “word at a time recognizer” and is in the process of building up the specific atoms of alphabetic language knowledge from which she will be later able to make phonological generalizations and orthographics discriminations.


3V1425.01 Singing: [If all the young girls were hares on the mountain…] (12/17/81)

Peggy and I home and alone today. I heard Peggy singing to herself as she worked on something (her Donald Duck Puzzle, I think), “All the young girls…are mountains… and hares… all the young girls…like mountains… and hares…” Bob had played the Makem & Clancey record, [with the song] “If all the young girls were like Hares on the Mountain” just the other night.”


3V1425.02 Writing: sending a letter through the mail

I have been doing my Christmas Cards. After a while, Peggy brought the piano bench over to the typewriter because she wanted to write a letter. She typed several lines on a piece of paper (I don;t remember what she said they meant — it was nothing straightforward and it was not a Christmas greeting) and pestered me for an envelope, which I finally got for her when I finished feeding Kate.

When I went out for the mail, Peggy followed me with her letter which she wanted to put in the mailbox for the mailman to deliver. I told her she had to say on the envelope who it was for, so the mailman would know where to take it. She looked exaggeratedly abashed and came inside. Grabbing a purple crayon, she asked me to spell “Margaret.” I told her then reminded her she should also say “From Peggy.” which she did. We got into the car, as I was going out to the Naborhood store for milk and on th way back, Peggy put her letter in the Maguire’s mailbox. [Later, when Billy called for Robby, I explained to him what that mysterious letter was, since I don’t think they could have deciphered the envelope.]

I forgot to mention above the apparent motivation for all this was stamps. I had asked Peggy not to fiddle with the stamps please, but she could play with the Christmas Seals, of which I had a good sized sheet. She thereupon asked if she could make a letter and put some stamps [seals] on it, and I said yes.. She took the sheet into the living room and carefully ripped most of the stamps apart. When it came to sealing her envelope, however, she apparently licked the stamp until all the glue was gone and it would not hold. I had her bring another seal and showed her how to do it.

Observations of her writing:
M is a vague snakey wiggle
P apparently comes out upside down
E looks standard, although sometimes it has four cross pieces.
R is made firmly, a circle first, then two legs.

In writing “MARGARET FROM PEGGY’ she did not ask how to make any of the letters.


3V1425.03 Puzzle: Donald Duck (12/17/81)

Putting together a 48 piece Donald Duck puzzle has been one of Peggy’s main entertainments lately. At first she would simply grab a piece, wave it around, and ask, “Where does this go?” Someone would help her, and we would try to give her good tips — do the outside first, look at the picture, try to match pieces to the picture… Within a couple of days, she would place pieces quite well on her own, although she would still hold up a piece and ask “Where does this go?” Frequently she would then place it herself before anyone could answer her, or indeed even tell what piece she had. Within a week, she could do the entire puzzle herself in a relatively short time and ceased to ask at all for advice.
NB. This puzzle was given to Peg in mid September.