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Binary made simple: 5 easy activities you can use in your classroom with very little preparation

Looking for creative ways to teach binary that requires minimal preparation but maximises student engagement? Look no further!

In this blog post, we present five exciting activities that will make learning binary a breeze for your students.

From educational games to practical exercises, these dynamic approaches will captivate your students' interest while reinforcing their understanding of binary.

Let's dive in and make binary simple and fun!

Activity 1: Binary Bingo

Who said learning binary has to be boring? With binary bingo, you can turn any lesson into an exciting game that gets everyone involved.

This is a quick game you can use for a starter, plenary or any time you want to perk up your class with an educational game.

Students convert binary to decimal (or visa versa), marking off matching numbers on their bingo cards. It's a race to shout "Bingo!" as they deepen their binary conversion skills.

You can pick from 4 bits, 5 bits or 6 bits.

All you need to do is decide on the parameters of the game and ask everyone (yourself included) to visit

You need to select “Teacher” but your students will select “Student”.

If you want to get your students to practicing converting binary numbers to decimal then you choose “binary” and your students choose “denary”. You both choose the same level (in this example we are choosing “Easy”).

binary bingo student view

To play the game you (as the teacher) need to click on the "Generate Binary" button to generate a random binary number which will be displayed to the class.

binary bingo teacher view

If the binary number that is generated matches the value of one of the decimal/denary numbers on a student's bingo card, they click on the relevant number to mark it as a match. Keep generating numbers, remembering to give pupils enough time to convert each value to decimal. The first person to match all their numbers shouts “Bingo” and is the winner.

It is up to you what prize they get for winning, if any.

Do remember to check they have correctly converted their numbers before declaring them the winner!

Alternative versions include:

  • You could make the game shorter by changing the rules, so they only need to match a straight line of 3 (vertical, horizontal or diagonal) to declare “Bingo”.

  • You could generate decimal (known as denary numbers on this site) numbers that they need to convert to binary to allow them to practise converting values from decimal to binary.

  • You can make the game harder by using longer binary numbers which include 5 or 6 bits.

If you are a non-specialist teacher or a teacher who is looking for that little bit of extra clarification or simply some new teaching ideas for binary, look no further than my new blog post “An easy introduction to binary for non-specialist computing teachers

Activity 2: Other online games

Take your students on an online adventure with captivating binary games.

From Binary Bonanza to the Cisco's Binary game, these interactive platforms offer engaging experiences that reinforce binary concepts in a playful way.

These will keep your students entertained while mastering binary.

Activity 3: Binary Calculator Unplugged Activity

Step away from the screen and engage your students with our binary calculator unplugged activity.

This practical exercise allows students to convert binary numbers into decimal using printable sheets and scissors.

binary calculator TES

Download it for free from TES and provide your students with a tactile, interactive experience that brings binary to life.

Watch as they enjoy the hands-on feel of this activity and deepen their understanding of binary conversions.

You can download it for free from TES by clicking this link

Activity 4: Binary finger counting

Challenge your students to count to 31 using only their fingers! Whether they write the numbers on their fingers or rely on memory, this activity enhances their mental math skills and binary representation.

binary finger counting

Experiment with variations like calling out random numbers for students to display with their fingers or using both hands for larger conversions. It's a fun and engaging way to reinforce binary understanding while keeping the classroom energised.

If a student is right-handed then ask them to write the numbers on their left hand fingers as shown below when their palm is facing upwards. If a student is left-handed, they need to write the numbers on the fingers on their right hand using the following formatting.

binary fingers

It is important that they get the numbers the right way around and 1 should always be on the furthest finger to the right.

Alternative versions include:

  • You may make it harder by not writing the numbers on the fingers

  • You can call out a random number and everyone arranges their fingers to represent the correct value and holds them up when asked

  • You can make it even harder by asking them to write numbers using both hands to be able to convert even higher numbers.

Activity 5: Ready to use binary worksheets

If you're looking for a convenient and comprehensive resource to reinforce binary conversions, our refreshed and updated binary worksheets are just what you need.

binary worksheets with answers

With 11 ready-to-use worksheets covering various conversion skills, these versatile materials are suitable for diverse student abilities.

Print them out or use them onscreen as editable PDFs, saving you time and effort. From binary squares to conversion practice sheets, these worksheets provide the extra practice students need to solidify their binary skills.

Not only that, but you also have all the answers provided making this an ideal activity for both experienced computer science teachers and non-specialist teachers.

Binary Worksheets Answers

You can use them as:

  • in-class activities to check pupils understanding,

  • starter or plenary activities or

  • homework tasks.

These 11 ready-to-use binary worksheets cover a multitude of different binary conversion skills and are suitable of a wide range of abilities. They include:

  • binary square where pupils enter the 1 or 0 to make the total at the end of the row and column

  • binary, denary and hexadecimal conversion practice sheets and

  • binary addition activities.

They only require printing (if you want to use them as a traditional worksheet) or saving in a shared area for pupils to access onscreen.

This bundle of ready-to-use worksheets will save you hours of preparation time and are flexible enough to be used when you feel your pupils need that little bit more practice to really embed those binary conversion skills.

Buy this useful and professionally created worksheet pack now and take control of your workload.

You’ll be glad you did.

Binary Worksheets TES

Binary Worksheets TpT

Binary activities

Teaching binary doesn't have to be a daunting task. By incorporating these five easy activities into your classroom, you can transform your students' learning experience. From the excitement of binary bingo and interactive online games to the hands-on exploration of binary calculator and binary finger counting, there's an activity for every learner.

And don't forget to explore our ready-to-use binary worksheets, which will save you hours of preparation time and offer targeted practice for your students.

Embrace the power of dynamic teaching and make binary simple, engaging, and fun!


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