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Virtual Spirograph

What it is: Remember Spirographs?  I had a set that could keep me busy for hours.  As I was searching back through websites to align with curriculum, I found the virtual Spirograph on Math Playground.   Virtual Spirograph lets your students determine colors, pen positions, and the radius of the circles.  Students can then draw the Spirograph adding layers.  One of the best features of this fun site is the “where’s the math” button that shows a break down of the math involved in the spirograph activity. How to integrate Virtual Spirograph into the classroom: Virtual Spirograph is a great way to teach practical (and fun) math.  Students will learn about epicycloids and what happens when they adjust radius and reflector placements.  Virtual Spirograph will help students visualize difficult math concepts and create fun artwork in the process.  This is a great site to introduce with an interactive whiteboard or projector.  Students can take turns adjusting the pen position and radii.  Encourage other students in the class to predict what the epicycloids will look like based on the radii chosen and the pen position.  Then click draw and discuss what actually happened.  Virtual Spirograph can be set up as a math center for students to visit in the one or two computer classroom.  Students can visit the center in small groups and take turns predicting the outcome as a partner adjusts the pen position and radii. Tips: The Virtual Spirograph relies on a flash player, make sure you have one before using this site with students. Leave a comment and tell us how you are using Virtual Spirograph in your classroom.

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Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial

Posted by admin | Posted in Analyze, Apply, Art, Create, Evaluate, History, Knowledge (remember), Language Arts, Middle/High School, Music, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Understand (describe, explain), Video Tutorials, web tools, Web2.0 | Posted on 03-02-2011

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Capzles is a site that I have written about and recommended many times (you can read one of my original posts about it below).  I am currently working with a school that has zero technology.  When I say zero, I mean they don’t even have over head projectors.  This is a NO tech school.  They recently enlisted my help in taking their eighth graders from no tech into a one-to-one environment.  Each of the students will be receiving a laptop to use during instruction.  The challenge: the computers aren’t all the same age, make, or model.  No problem, we will use web 2.0 tools!  The benefit of going from zero to fully immersed: no bad technology habits to break, we are staring from a clean slate!

Last week I met with the eighth grade teacher to talk about what learning is currently happening in the classroom and took a look at the scope and sequence of learning for the next semester.  I asked a LOT of questions and together we mapped out a plan for integrating technology that would support and enhance the learning that was already happening.  We decided to begin by adding technology into art, composer study, history, astronomy, poetry, and literature.  I thought about having the students create blogs or wikis to chart and reflect on learning, but in the end decided that Capzles was the best tool for this job.  Capzles lets students organize learning in the form of an interactive timeline.  Students can upload a variety of documents to the timeline including images, videos, documents, and slide shows.  They can also blog directly to the timeline (complete with comments!). The blog feature also provides a way for students to embed other web 2.0 creations.  For the learning that these students will be doing, the visual timeline makes the most sense.  Students can create multiple timelines or compile all of their learning into one timeline.  If students create these timelines based on actual historical dates, they will begin to see the overlap in history, astronomical discoveries, composers, and artists of the time.  This leads to a more complete understanding of how the world that they know has been shaped.

Students can also create a timeline based on their learning, each day adding learning to a virtual “journal” of events.

I have created weblists of the links these students will be using as a part of their learning over the next semester:

To Kill a Mockingbird

Poetry

Astronomy

Art

Composers

History

The tutorial above is a brief introduction to using Capzles, you will have to forgive the drowned rat look…that is what happens when you shovel snow in a blizzard :)

Original post from July 22, 2008:

What it is: Capzles is another interactive timeline maker. I really love all the little extras that Capzleshas! With Capzles teachers and students can add photos, videos, audio, and text to their timeline. Themes, colors, backgrounds, and background music can be added to the timeline making it unique and personalized. Capzles also provides options when sharing your Capzle, it can be private with a specific list of who can view the Capzle or made public for the world to see.

How to integrate Capzles into the classroom: Obviously Capzles is a great way for students to create timelines about any subject. The web 2.0 collaborative aspect of Capzles makes it very appealing to students. I think Capzles could also be very valuable in the primary classroom. Students probably won’t be creating their own timelines in Capzles at this age, parent helpers paired with students to create simple timelines would be appropriate. Because Capzles has the capability of adding audio, photos, and text, it would be the perfect place to record students reading throughout the year. As you assess student reading through reading records, record the students using a program such as GabcastGcast,Audacity, or Garageband. Take a digital picture of the student reading. Throughout the year, you can make a Capzle for each student. This is an excellent motivator for students, especially your struggling readers. Students can see their growth throughout the year in pictures, and hear their reading progress made throughout the year. You can share the Capzle with parents (they will go crazy for this keepsake!) and with the students future teacher. How much would you love getting a timeline of your students from the previous year? You would have a jump-start on their struggles and strengths in reading as you quickly flip through their timelines. Cool huh?!

Leave a comment and share how you are using Capzles in your classroom.

Comments (15)

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Shelly S Terrell, Melissa Techman, ktenkely, ktenkely, ktenkely and others. ktenkely said: @PeterMulleners Here is my capzles tutorial: http://t.co/PRY6Nns […]

How clever of the school to ask you to help! Thanks for sharing the tutorial on Capzles – it sounds brilliant.

Kelly, I really like the plans for using this visual timeline for pulling together the pieces and artifacts of learning. What a great way to use a timeline. :)

This looks like a great tool for our classrooms! This was the first time I had heard about Capzles. Good luck to you on introducing the 8th grade to the wonderful world of technology. I’m sure it will be an adventure.
Quick question: What were the names of the tools you recommended for students to create their own mp3 music files?

Kelly this seems like a great tool!
Also thanks for the mailinator.com idea. I have some users for my site that want kids to sign up but don’t want them to have to create email addresses (which are required) so this seems like a perfect solution.

You are welcome, mailinaitor.com and tempinbox.com are SO great for required email addresses.

Thank you Manuel, Capzles is fantastic…used it for the first time today with students, it was a BIG hit :)

Tools to use for mp3 music files: Garageband (Mac), Audacity, Myna (aviary.com)

Thanks Melissa!

Thank you Susan, Capzles really is brilliant, the way that it allows students to combine and organize other web tools is fantastic!

[…] these videos in their own history Web 2.0 creations and presentations.  I’m currently using Capzles with a group of 8th graders and imagine them embedding these videos in their timelines along with […]

[…] mission, they add images, reflections, and information to their timeline.  I have to say, the Capzles interface is turning out to be the perfect place for them to collect all of their learning and […]

[…] format. (see the examples below) If you are interested in learning more you MUST check out this blog post and video by Kelly Tenkely at iLearn Technology…she also has made a fantastic video […]

[…] iLearn Technology » Blog Archive » Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial […]

[…] iLearn Technology » Capzles Interactive Timeline Tutorial […]

How do you set up a classroom account?

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