From: Sharon Wie
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 18 Oct 1996
Remote Name: ss1mac-01.ucsc.edu
Maria seemed to approximately 4th or 5th grade.
I went to Barrios Unidos today wanting to concentrate on my "informal" teaching methods. I usually play with the same kids during my time at Barrios Unidos, and today was no different. I worked with Maria and another little girl. They both went to a computer with a CD rom player but was disappointed to find something wrong with it. We attempted to install and run many programs with CDs but failed. To our savior came David and a disk full of games. He installed a puzzle game for the two girls to play. The younger girl was very amused and continued to put together every puzzle in the game. Maria was entertained for a while but grew bored. I then suggested she play solitaire. Maria did not know how to play cards let alone solitaire, but was very determined. All I told her was that the bottom set of cards categorize by decreasing numbers, while the top cards increase. I needed to tell her the order of King, Queen, and Jack since she never played cards before. At first, she tried categorizing by numbers. It seemed a little difficult and I thought I noticed some frustration. After a few minutes, she realized that the correct position of the cards darken before its placement. She resumed by taking each card and moving it all across the screen looking for a darken spot. I thought her method was pretty ingenious and simply watched her use it. Maria got stuck several times and asked for my help. I aided her by asking which number went below each card, and if any such card was on the screen or in the deck of cards (There usually was). Maria won Solitaire her first try at it and chose to play several games afterwards with less and less assistance.
Today, I felt that some Collaborative learning was achieved. During my assisting with Maria, I learned many Spanish words to help the younger girl playing the puzzle game. I am also getting more comfortable with using methods other than adult-run to assist the children at Barrios Unidos.
Working with Maria today was not soley for the purpose for her to learn how to play Solitaire. She enabled me to work on my different methods of teaching. With my encouragement and Maria's determination, we had a wonderful time.