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A Sweet Way to Learn About Binary Code

Student at desk Teaching the complex topic of binary code took a holiday spin in one first grade class at Windermere Boulevard Elementary School. Students were learning how computers send, receive and store information through codes. They learned that computers can talk to each other through codes that use zeros and ones.


ASCII binary code is the most common format for text files for computers and the internet. It stands for American Standard Code for Information Interchange and uses numbers to represent letters and special characters. The binary version uses only zeros and ones in an 8 digit pattern.


Using worksheets, the kids wrote their name. Then using an alphabet key with a 4 digit binary code for each letter, they transcribed the letters of their name into zeros and ones.


Using red and white beads, they chose one color for all the zeros and another color for all the ones.


They put the beads on a pipe cleaner and bent it to resemble a candy cane. Sweet!


Students put beads on pipe cleaners   Students sit at table   Students work on project   Students work at table