Pilot - U5L06 - 8 Bit Numbers


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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.

As always, I have been starting the lesson with what the story is so far. It reminds me of the science cartoons Eureka. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka!_(TV_series)

The interesting part of the story for the the students is really how long it took to write out all of the bits(1s and 0s) for a 10 MegaPixel image.
That lead us into a small bird walk at the beginning of the class of how fast is my internet connection. So we spent some time talking about whether the 126Mbps was fast and how that related to our 4.5 years of writing out 1s an 0s for our image.

Decoding the ages went well, although I did the first student as an example because the students didn’t remember the boxes from the day before. Once I did the example, they remembered and figured them out easily. The discussion of the last student was interesting and they really did try and come up with two ages.

I feel like they really understood the fact that we needed something else to help differentiate. We needed a space.
This lead us back to the animal cards and the two different solutions for the problem. Either a card to delimit words or to have all words be the same number of cards. Students actually told me the two ways, which was nice.

I made a floppy do and used my document camera to project it on the screen. The students used this and only this as instructions on how to make their flippy-do. I only had 7 pairs of scissors, which was one pair per 4 students and it did not take long for everyone to cut out the flippy-do. I did pre cut the paper so that I handed out a rough cut floppy do to each student.

The students were able to use the flippy-do to complete the worksheet. As we went over the world records we actually had to look them up online. There is an awesome video of the ice cream scoops and the dog jump http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/most-ice-cream-scoops-balanced-on-a-cone

That was fun!

The students didn’t really get the strategy to to the reverse conversion of there decimal to the binary number. It is really easy as you just subtract the highest power of 2 over and over until you have zero. In a coupe of classes I had some students come up to the board and explain it.


Hi John,

Thanks so much for sharing your experience with the lesson, and for the link to the video. It sounds like the kids really got what they needed out of this activity.

Did the students come up with any strategies themselves for converting from decimal to binary?