Pilot - U5L05 - Representing Numbers


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I taught this lesson to a group of 7th and 8th graders in an Advanced Technology class. This lesson went WAY TOO fast. My students found it extremely simple and it only lasted 10 minutes. Therefore, I used it as a warmup for lesson 6 which I jumped right into after 5. It was an effective warmup, but not really significant or challenging enough to be a lesson to itself. In the future I will teach these two lessons together again.


Thanks, Matt. How long did lesson 6 take? Was it also fast?



I am in a high school in San Jose, CA and have a mix of 9-12 grade students in the 3 classes that I teach this. The class is comprised of students from the highest achieving at the school to the lowest.

This lesson did not take an hour.
The students finished the worksheet very quickly. All were done within 10-15min.

Therefore, I need to supplement this lesson with a longer intro or some challenge questions after the worksheet.

After the warm up I had four volunteers be the 4 bits. I gave them paper with large dots on them.
We all decided what was on and off or up and down. Made some numbers. Did some counting.

The students then did the worksheet.
I put the first page on the board and we went over the answers.

I also led the students in a discussion about how to tell if a number was even.
Then I asked how we could tell if a number in binary was even. Its just depends on the first bit.

Leading off the what is the biggest number, I added a challenge to find the biggest number for

5 bits
6 bits
7 bits
8 bits - 255

And the extra challenge of finding the general formula for

N bits.

All students got through 8 bits and I had a couple student give me the formula for n bits.

Then I went back to making images yesterday and asked what would make for a better picture.
Color and more pixels.
Then I asked if the 255 number rang a bell. Or how have we made colors this year.
Typed a name
Used hexidecimal
And R G B

I focused on the rgb and we came to the conclusion that we needed 24 bits to represent a colored pixel.

Then we figured out that we would need to type 2400 1s and 0s to make our 10x10 image from Monday.

Then I asked for how many megapixels someones camera on their phone shot. We decided on 10.
I asked how many 1s and 0s we could type a minute. About 100. Then I put the calculator up and we figured out how long it would take to type out the 240 million 1s and 0s for the image.
About 4.5 years. That was fun and made for a complete hour.


@jold It sounds like you did some awesome sense making and connecting back things they had learned! I’ve logged your feedback that it didn’t take an hour and I like some of your suggested ways of adding challenges to the lesson so thanks for sharing those!