Last week I introduced my son’s third grade class to binary numbers. I wanted to build on my prior visit, where I introduced them to the powers of two. By teaching them binary, I showed them that place value is not limited to base ten, and that there is a difference between numbers and numerals.
My presentation was based on base-ten-block-like imagery, since I knew the students were comfortable expressing numbers with base ten blocks. I thought extending the block model to other bases would work well. I think it did.