Fun Math for Kids: How to teach children binary and decimal numbers easily
Little Bun recently asked me to teach him binary numbers because he read it in his book here – Computers & Coding – but the section teaching it was so tiny and not at all intuitive, that I decided to teach myself how it worked, and then teach him.
I googled this stuff extensively and got even more confused. It just isn’t clear to me how it works because I am a very visual learner.
So I ended up teaching him like this – this is the graphic of how I taught him the structure and then to convert from Binary to Decimal and then Decimal to Binary.
The idea is that there are 8 columns, and we start on the right.
Each column represents the previous column x 2 (this is that confusing power of 2 thing that everyone talks about in the tutorials but isn’t clearly stated).
Each column can also only have only a value of 1 or a 0 in it (0 means zero, and 1 means the total sum of the column) like so:
The 1 or 0 refers to “on” or “off” or you can tell them “yes” or “no”, and so as you can see above if you have 1 in the 128 column, that’s 128 to add up with the other columns that have a 1.
To convert back from Decimal to Binary, you take a normal number (any number), and try to fit it into each column.
With the leftover number, keeping going from left to right and filling in the columns as you can.
Any number that fits into the columns, gets a “1”, and any that doesn’t fit (too big/small), gets a “0”: