Binary Counting

Fun Break: Binary Counting


Essential Question: How do Computers Count?
Original material
: Slide Presentations, "Simon Sez", Pair Share, "Simon Sez", Group Practice
Learning Objectives: Students will:

  • Learn Latin: digit = finger and index = pointer

  • Learn the Assyrian "finger pad" counting system

  • Combine "finger pad" with "twelves" to count to 156

  • Learn how computers use binary digits (bits)

  • Use fingers to count to 31 with one hand

  • Use arms (2 people) to count to 15

Summary: Students can be intimidated by technology. This exercise uses anthropogenic (human body-based) counting as a bridge to understanding the math and engineering of computers, and also gives students permission to "give the finger" to the teacher (count 4). It's fun, and it provides opportunities for students with different skill specialties (math, dexterity, pattern recognition, ability to focus and do what they see) to shine.