FN# 6:draft#1: Minesweeper

From: Jess Thyne
Submit: Post Field Note
VisitDate: 00/00/96
Adult-Run: Selected
Collaborative: Selected
Bottom-up: Selected
Informal: Selected
LearningArea: ZPD
Date: 11 Nov 1996
Time: 16:00:08
Remote Name: octal-lab-mac04.ucsc.edu



Victor 6th grade


As the CD roms did not work properly again, and there was an abundance of students again, I decided to play some minespeeper. Victor seemed interested in what I was doing, and he came over to see what game I was playing. He said that he knew how to play Minesweeper, but I could see that he only had a cursory understanding. He knew what the numbers meant, but he could not see the implications for beating the game (you can use process of ellimination to find out where the bombs are when you see that some squares must be bombs because of the numbers near them). Victor needed to learn more than the rules and meanings behind the numbers, he needed to learn some strategy.

I played for a little while with Vitor looking on, and showed him how I knew where some bombs were, and why I did not yet know what some of the squares were. Then I offered him a try. He and I worked together, with me directly guiding him, amd finally, after about 20 minutes, him playing without much help from me at all.


This seemed a great example of the ZPD. Victor had some skills, but to really play the game, he needed my help. By the end of the session, he had figured out the game, and could find the bombs almost as well as I could. I really like minesweeper, and I was really excited to see Victor learn it.


I wonder if Victor will continue to play minesweeper now that he has the hang of it? I also wonder if he really gets the game, or if he is still in the zone, and I'm just not very well trained at seeing what he still needs and does not need in the way of help.