Computers can only store information in the form of ON and OFF, or 0 and 1. If that is the case, how do we represent numbers that don’t have 0s and 1s? How would we write 2, or 3, or 4, or 345,684?

Computers use a language called binary to write all of those numbers in terms of 0s and 1s. Just like we have placeholders to make a 1 into a 10 or 100 or 1000, binary also has placeholders for certain values. However, instead of the values going up in tens, they go up by orders of 2. So the placeholders in binary are 1’s place, 2’s place, 4’s place, 8’s place, 16’s place and so on. If I wanted to write the number 2 in binary I would use a single 2’s place and no 1’s place, which I could write as 10.

Check out the video below to learn how to use dot cards to learn how to count in binary. Learn binary and imaging in our newest Teachers Pay Teachers unit! There is a great binary imaging sheet that you can even download for FREE!