I am here today to share with you my favorite tool for a successful listen to reading center. I am fortunate in my classroom to have 6 iPads and about 6 laptops (I can borrow more when needed). This year, I am setting my students up for Listen to Reading on the laptops because I have plans for the iPads to be used during Read to Self and Word Work.
Last year, another new teacher who is super into technology (thanks, Sarah!!) introduced me to a (FREE) website called Symbaloo. Symbaloo is essentially a place where you can store all of your links to websites you want your students to go on. Your links are all on one page as small images so it is student friendly and easy to use. You can have custom pages if you have several classes or you want to group websites by subject. It is FREE to sign up so you will want to make an account first. My page currently looks like this:
Up in the top left corner I have a our math games. On the right corner, I added books for students to choose for Listen to Reading (I will change these monthly). I simply searched YouTube for stories. We all know the ads and comments on YouTube are sometimes not so safe for our little learners. BUT the amazing thing about Symbaloo is that is now EMBEDS the Youtube video directly into their sight. This means, it does not redirect students to YouTube AND it takes away any ads!!!
It will autmatically change to “Embed in Symbaloo” so no new window will open up. When students are done listening, they click the white “x” in the corner and it takes them back to the main page with all of the tile options.