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3V1233.01 Peggy’s first Word World: a summary description (6/8/81)

SUN (base color) (via UPx N) (help with WALK/SLOWERx2)
GIRL (base color) (Via DOWN x N=4 (started at road)
CAR (help with GREEN) (help with MOVE) (via DOWN x 5) (help with WALK/ FAST)
DOG (base color) (help with MOVE) (via DOWN x 1)
HOUSE (help with WALK/HALT) (via DOWN x 1) (base color)
VAN (help with BLUE) (via DOWN x 6) (help with WALK/TURN)
TRUCK (help with GREEN) (via DOWN?) (FAST & FASTER)
PLANE (help with RED) (via FLY)
JET (base color) (via FLY) (help with FASTER)
BIRD (help with RED) (via FLY)
OAK (help with MOVE)
novel: Peggy introduced ZOOM; I taught it to Logo as FAST and FASTER
MAN (help with WALK)

Later in the evening, after SHE crashed the system and I brought it up) Peggy began making a new world. First a house, then (with some interventions on my part) a PINE. AS I did other things, Peggy kept asking for help. The slogan that evolved in this situation was “Look at the word. The word tells you what letters to type.” this bizarre slogan represents a completely new definition of what a word IS.


3V1234.01 A New Way of Presenting Words (6/9/81)

Peggy’s biggest problem in typing words [from a list] was recognizing which word she was copying to the keyboard. I began telling her to look at the first letter of the word and to remember what it was, emphasizing it that way and by identifying it by her personal name, “That begins with the Scurry letter,” etc. One can present them differently. The words are now on five 4×6″ cards, grouped as things, people, color words, place words (plus fly) and speed words. I can, instead present them on color coded (for grouping) and on individual cards — thus Peggy could better explore for herself the meaning of the words. I will do that for this morning.


3V1234.02 Peggy’s Reception of Card-words (6/9/81)

After setting up the world subsystem with last minute perfections, I went off to the dentist, leaving four sets of cards stacked separately near the computer with the WORLD word leaning against the front of it. I left with the WORLD display set up, with a HOUSE in place and a JET ZOOMing across the sky.

When I returned later (having left everyone asleep except Gretchen), Peggy came to greet me and asked excitedly that I come see her new world. She showed me a world cleared of “my” objects with a SUN (which she described as “peeking” [it appeared at the bottom of the screen and was less than half visible]. The words WORLD, SUN, and UP had been typed (the latter five or more times). Who did it ? PEGGY. Who showed her how ? NO ONE. Who suggested it ? NO ONE. The WORLD card was still leaning against the front of the computer. SUN topped one stack on the back of it and UP topped another at its side.

As Peggy played with her WORLD later in the day, it was clear that she had become quite comfortable in copying letters from left to right (and could do so with no errors)/ I heard her several times say (for a sequence of all the letters in a card word) “it tells me (optional letter name)” as she touched the first letter on the card and then the letter on the keyboard.


3V1234.03 Reading: one word at a time (6/9/81)

Peggy played with the computer — off and on — during most of the day. Mostly she was “on.” (She even left the supper table to play with her “world”) although she took a break now and again to have a snack or to join Robby and Miriam when they were out working on the lawn.

At the beginning of the day, she needed help finding the card word which would do what she wanted. (And at one point she typed PAINTGR #. I noted she needed a space between the words.) Several times at least she saw me pick up a deck of cards and sort through them for the card she sought.
This evening, as we adults were deciding to go to bed, Peggy mentioned wanting to make something FLY. I pointed out BIRD was on top of one pile of cards (she proceeded to type that word). FLY was (I believe but am not certain) was also readily at hand. After making BIRD FLY in two separate commands, Peggy complained that her BIRD was not going fast enough… “You want it to ZOOM like the cars and the trucks ?” I asked. She agreed and extracted the appropriate card. “How do you know that?” I asked (expecting an answer relating to the initial ‘Z’). Peggy replied, “it’s got an ‘M’, two ‘O’s, and one of these things.” Peggy, that is, discriminated one target word (her target) from a number of similar card words (there are nine others printed in red marker on white 4×6 cards), pronounced its associated value when found and justified her judgment by referring to a decomposition of the thing into known elements. What else would one ask as a demonstration that she was reading one word at a time ? That she understand it’s meaning ? She did so (it makes things go fast) because that pre-established meaning was encoded at her request and became one of the most popular verbs she applied to her objects.

Another point, somewhat earlier. Peggy said she wanted to paint a dog green. The packs of cards were jumbled and I asked, “Where are all the paint cards?” And she inquired further, “You mean the ones with the space?” That is, she now clearly discriminates that class of cards with a minimal phrase (two words) from a single word, recognizing the space character as a delimiter.

It will be interesting to see in our next experiment if I can introduce Peggy to two word sentences, such as CAR ZOOM. FISH SWIM, etc, BOAT SAIL…. Maybe this needs another world (and how about PAINT GREEN GIRL and PAINT GIRL GREEN ? (note this idea was followed up by creation of the CITY world.)


3V1238.01 Debugging Spellings (6/13/81)

Peggy copies the cards letter by letter, but sometimes she copies wrong. For example, after we returned from the hospital with Kate and Gretchen, and I loaded procedures, Peggy executed WORLD, SUN, UP (many times) then PAINT GREEN; she then tried “VAN”, a familiar shape but a less familiar word; because it was lying upright on the floor, she keyed V, S, N and ‘do it.’ Logo returned the message, “You haven’t told me how to ‘VSN.’

Peggy was really turned off and complained that Logo didn’t know what she meant, “It didn’t work.” As in other cases, I pointed out explicitly her specific error. Later on, Peggy typed “DOWNN”, trying to get her “VAN” down to the road. When the message appeared, she complained, “It didn’t work! (then, looking again) Oops. I got two N’s.” That is, when the same failure appeared, she imitated my analysis.


3V1238.02 Recalling a Word (6/13/81)

Peggy just spelled ZOOM from memory. Two girl shapes were ZOOMing too close together. The FAST card sat nearby so I instructed Peggy to key it. With some trouble, she keyed that familiar word of unknown spelling, copying letter by letter.

Disappointed that the current girl was going slow (fast is slower than ZOOM), Peggy, repeating “Zoomy, zoomy,” to herself executed the procedure by spelling the word from memory. I asked her how she knew how to spell it (since the card was/is nowhere in sight, and she answered that she just remembered it.