Lesson Plan Title : Binary Math and Computer Colors
Overview and Purpose: We introduce students to binary counting and programming of games.
1. Students learn how to count in binary.
2. Students learn about the byte variable declaration when programming a computer.
3. Students learn how to declare and use a byte variable for colors in an XNA game.
1. Illustrate how binary works
2. Talk about byte variable declarations
3. Program XNA to accept color settings using a series of three byte variables
Board with eight light switches mounted on it.
Computers with XNA loaded on them.
1. Computers really only understand ones and zeros
2. In order to give instructions to computers we must understand binary
3. Programming binary requires the use of byte variables
1. Light switches somewhat match the idea of transistors in a computer - eight light switches in a row represent eight bits in a byte
2. By flipping different switches on or off and adding up the values each of them have, we can use math to set values to each byte
3. Because computers use a three byte color system for a total of ~16.5 million colors, three byte variables, one each for red, green and blue will allow us to accomplish this goal.
1.Some students demonstrate setting the light switches and converting to binary
2. All students declare and initialize byte variables in Microsoft XNA and then set the game screen's color using these variables
3. Students are given a practice quiz at the end of the lesson
Students are asked to modify the byte variable initializations to see if they can get different colors out of the system
Accommodations (Differentiated Instruction):
1. One-on-one work, teacher with student, is required for students who have compilation errors and need debugging help.
2. Some students need extra practice time with binary and that is granted. One-on-one student to teacher help is also provided.
1. Students are given a practice quiz at the end of the lesson to check for their understanding of binary
2. Formative assessments during the lessons
Students wrap up by completing their coding and successfully debugging and compiling the game.
1.Students are successful if they can develop any number between 0 and 255 using 8-bit byte binary
2. Students are successful if they recognize that three 8-bit bytes taken together actually represents an exponential function (255 cubed) which allows us to arrive at the millions of colors we can derive out of an RGB system.
3. Students are successful if they can successfully debug and compile their game code, and if they can modify it so that it has a different color.
4. Students are successful if they recognize that the RGB color coding system consists of three 8-bit bytes that are taken together to come up with different colors.
For students who have a relatively high computer science aptitude binary isn't much of a struggle. I think it helps to picture a physical manifestation of what's really going on at the byte level, so the light switches work well.
The most difficulty I had with this lesson was in getting students to understand the idea that three bytes taken together as one entity work exponentially. That idea was lost on some students and required further clarification on my part.
For students who have a relatively high computer science aptitude binary isn't much of a struggle. I think it helps to picture a physical manifestation of what's really going on at the byte level, so the light switches work well. The most difficulty I had with this lesson was in getting students to understand the idea that three bytes taken together as one entity work exponentially. That idea was lost on some students and required further clarification on my part. For most students, compilation errors generally occurred when there was a misspelling or a missing semicolon on statements. For the most part, most students understand and comprehend what they're doing when they declare and initialize byte variables and use them in their code to modify game screen colors.