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Archive with last of tag-string W169

3V1184.1

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.”

3V1185.1

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]

3V1186.1

3V1186.01 Learning by observation during Story hour (4/22/81)

Today was the last in a series of story hours for Three Year Olds given weekly at the local library. The Childrens’ Librarian would take a group of children (maybe 10 to 12) into a meeting room where they might sing a little song or play a simple finger game. She would then read them a story. Afterwards there would be a short film shown in the childrens’ room. Several groups met at the same time, and there were always hordes of children, mothers, and babies milling around. As described earlier (2/15/81) Peggy at first stayed apart, but as the weeks wore on she gradually moved in closer and joined the circle to some extent.

About two months into the session, I heard her singing at home “E-I-O, E-I-O…” When I asked her about it, she told me she learned it at story hour. “Oh, you were singing songs?” [I don’t think I had realized this before.] Peggy set me straight. “Well, the lady was singing. I didn’t sing.” Later, I also heard snatches of “Shoofly”. Peggy apparently enjoyed these tunes. although she never “threw herself into” the entertainment. One film, for example, was Disney’s Three Little Pigs, and most children were screaming and laughing as the Wolf tried to catch the pigs and got thoroughly beat up in the process. Peggy sat there with the same quiet attention she gave most of the films. At the last session, Peggy was somewhat disconcerted to discover that the librarian was not there that day and that another woman was there taking her place to read. Her first reaction was to ask me to come in with her. I walked as far as the door of the reading room, and Peggy continued in with no problem. she did not seem upset on being told that story hour was over for now, and there wouldn’t be any more for a while [end of June]. Access to the books in the library is far more important.

3V1188.1

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.

3V1188.2

3V1188.02 You can spell everything, not merely “French” (4/24/81)

Peggy is apparently coming to realize that all words can be spelled (not merely “French”). The cause of this conjecture I can’t document, but she sat in my lap this afternoon and asked me to spell word after word…. words with no apparent connection, ending up with her collection with objects-at-hand names, like nose (as well as earlier objects out of sight, “dog”).