The inspiration for this program came out of the 2014 CLSP summer reading manual. They had a wonderful handout listing the binary code 0's and 1's for each letter of the alphabet, upper and lower case. We already had the plastic lanyard string on hand, lots of it. We did need to buy some pony beads, but they are not very expensive.
Before the program started, I wrote out an example of a bead bracelet with color pens on the white board.
P = 01010000
P = 01010000
L = 01001100
0 = purple (p)
1 = orange (o)
spacers = turquoise (t)
As the children came into the room, I handed them the handout sheet and a pencil. I instructed them to figure out the code string for their initials before coming up to get their beads.
The children then came up to the room to get a a length of lanyard string and a pie tin of beads, basically a small handful of three different colors.
Next they went back to their seats to get to work.
- The children learned about patterns and some exposure to basic binary code.
- A craft program that appealed to boys and girls.
- A STEM program.
- Very inexpensive program.
- The majority of the children and their parents actually did not understand what they were to do. I had to go around the room and walk many kids through the process of creating the code string for their initials. I did not anticipate this.
- Even using initials and not their names, the code strings were a little on the long side. The bracelets were bigger than most child sized arms.