As I was browsing Twitter today, I stumbled upon a colleague’s @eppertdanielle post during this week’s ‘Hour of Code’ celebrations:
Ss learned about binary and created bracelets using binary code #winnipegsd #WSDsteam #HourOfCode
I looked at this activity and I thought, how incredibly clever. It’s about binary code! It’s about 1 & 0, On and Off switches just like in the millions of transistors states within the chips of a computer! How awesome an idea is this, so foreign & yet still so connected!
First off, there is plenty of evidence of the Four C’s at work:
But there is also connection to math systems. Binary is base 2. Our current number system is base 10. There is an opportunity to compare and contrast the number systems or at least play the conversion game between the two. One could show students that place value is not limited to base ten, and that there is a difference between numbers and numerals!
Finally, this activity uses the concept of binary to illustrate how a computer encodes
data that will be stored and then decoded and retrieved for use later. It highlights the idea of opposites (i.e. up/down, on /off) that can substitute for the stereotypical ones and zeros.
While there are versions of this activity on the Net associated with CODE.org, Danielle has done a great job of implementing her wrinkle furthering her student’s understanding the underpinnings of coding!
I gave this a whirl on the weekend and had a blast. Puzzles can be solved programmatically, with paper and pencil, collaboratively or individually. Lots of options & possibly perfect spare moment challenges for the month of December.