From: Mercedes Monaco
Submit: Post Field Note
Date: 21 Nov 1996
Remote Name: lang-lab-mac44.ucsc.edu
Isis and two African-American girls (sisters) that aren't on the kids list.
We started with computer problems. (surprise?) Isis was anxious to play on a computer, so I sat her down on one of the computers with the most little games. She went through a few until finally landing on the dot game. (With this game there are evenly spaced dots on the screen. You play against the computer. Each turn you draw a line between two dots. Once a one-by-one square is formed you, or the computer put your mark in the square (x or o). Whoever has the most squares in the end wins.) By this point I decided that we should stick to a game and this would be it. (I didn't say this of course.) So, I explained how the game worked. When she lost the first time, I encouraged her to try again "now that you understand the game." She lost again, but be less. I continued to remind her that making three lines of a square would mean the computer would get the square. She began to catch on slowly, and eventually beat the computer. After winning I suggested she increase the difficulty by making the square wider. (from 5X5 to 7X7). She was into this but at this point, her friend from school came over. This little girl is always very pushy and insisted on controling the mouse, and failed miserably. I encourage Isis to teach her how to play and left to play with the younger sister. We started out playing connect four. She didn't seemed to know how to play very well. I won the first game quickly, so she could see the object and after that she caught on. I would intentionally leave winning spaces over for her to see if she would see them. In the beginning she wouldn't, but by the end she was pretty good. I noticed she was completely concentrating on offense and forgetting defense, so I began winning or making comments to encourage her to block me. She caught on quick. She rarely spoke and when she did she was so soft spoken I couldn't hear her. But she would always smile when she realized she won. As the game went on she learned to count out four peices to see if she won. She began counting peices silently pointing before making her move obviously thinking about her move ahead of time.
I felt like today I saw two kids learn new games. It was fun to expirement with ways to teach them by asking questions. It was great to see them both become masters of the task after a while.
What are good ways to handle kids (like the older sister) that are overpowering and bossy?