How to Count in Binary?

by Miriam Tocino

Hello, Human!

We're Zerus and Ona, and we live in the heart of computers. But, you already know that. However, there are some other bits that you might not know about computers... yet! 

The first computers that existed mainly helped Humans to do math, but these days computers are more than just amazing calculators. They can play music and navigate the Internet. They help us draw and write. And you can even watch movies with them! Well, guess what? 

Computers use only two things to do all that: 
zeros and ones. 

The word binary means two things and so that's why we like saying that... 
we live in The Binary World!

Now, it's time to get your human brain up and running because... you're about to learn how to speak our language! 

Let's start by showing you numbers in binary. For this, you'll use a set of five cards with dots on one side and nothing on the other. These cards should be in the following order:

Count in Binary

You could say that each of these cards is a bit. And each bit has a different value. From right to left, the first card is worth 1, the next 2, 4, 8 and 16. Just count the dots!

When a card is facing down, that’s a zero. And when it’s facing up, it’s a one.

Count in Binary

Wow, Human, you just learned to count in binary!

Now, can you make 00101? And 11000? 
How would you show the number 9? 
And then, try a few more. 

Practice makes the master!

Download here this activity sheet and print your own set of cards at home.




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