## Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

Mathematics and Science; the subtle and ubiquitous arts

### Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

http://www.garlikov.com/Soc_Meth.html

Very interesting article about a woman who successfully taught the concept of binary arithmetic to a group of third-graders. Of the 22 students, the teacher told her (the woman visiting) that perhaps three would get the concept. In the end, almost all of them understood. She accomplished this using the Socratic Method - using questions to prompt insight and thought. I find this fascinating not only because I have always liked this approach, but also because I know adults who cannot handle the idea of a base-2 system.
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Goatboy
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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

Indeed very interesting and educating. The Socratic Method is what nowadays is called active learning which encourages people to think and find out for themselves how things work rather than being taught that is so because so it is. But you see that so rarely that I would respect anybody who learns or teaches that way.

Goatboy wrote:also because I know adults who cannot handle the idea of a base-2 system.

Yeah, I know people which took CS classes and it took them 2 weeks or so to get the idea. What you often hear from them after such scenarios is " Oh that's so easy, I wonder why I didn't get it earlier...".

I think most of them just don't know the value of it or are just plain lazy.

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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

[qoute="Goatboy"]also because I know adults who cannot handle the idea of a base-2 system.[/quote]
I think it's far more difficult to teach a different numbering system to an adult than to a child. The older they get, the more accustomed they get with the decimal system.

Somewhat off-topic, but I've had a much tougher time teaching hexadecimal. It seems like when you start mixing letters with numbers the vast majority of people start hoarding weapons in preparation for the apocalypse.
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Phantom Wolf
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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

Phantom Wolf wrote:
Goatboy wrote:also because I know adults who cannot handle the idea of a base-2 system.

I think it's far more difficult to teach a different numbering system to an adult than to a child. The older they get, the more accustomed they get with the decimal system.

Somewhat off-topic, but I've had a much tougher time teaching hexadecimal. It seems like when you start mixing letters with numbers the vast majority of people start hoarding weapons in preparation for the apocalypse.

To be fair, with binary you're simply taking away possible numbers, while with hexadecimal you're adding new ones. I also think a lot of people struggle with the fact that A-F in hexadecimal are numbers, not letters.

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sanddbox
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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

sanddbox wrote:To be fair, with binary you're simply taking away possible numbers, while with hexadecimal you're adding new ones. I also think a lot of people struggle with the fact that A-F in hexadecimal are numbers, not letters.

True. I have found that it works better if you make up symbols instead of using the traditional A-F
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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

WHAT THE .... ?

Don't know how I managed to type this but I want to tell you guys something, in my third grade I still didn't even know how to use a computer. Just can play some naive games. I remember now what they were teaching us on 3rd grade, MULTIPLICATION !!!
You're talking about socratic method and babies managing to understand how binary system works and at that age I was still being taught 2 times 2 equals 4 !!
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Prince Of The Elite
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### Re: Teaching Binary in third Grade / Socratic Method

I was taught binary in fourth or 5th grade.Not as part of computer sci. class but just a regular math class in a public school.
I forgot it within the month however and don't think it is particularly useful for elementary kids to learn it.

I think kids are capable of much more then state education (and their parents) credits them for.
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