My Favorite Tool for Listen to Reading

Sunday, September 11, 2016
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.  My page currently looks like this:

  Up in the top left corner I have a few addition math games.  On the right corner, I started adding books for students to choose for Listen to Reading.  I simply searched YouTube for stories.  But, we all know the ads and comments on YouTube are sometimes not so safe for our little learners.  I used SafeShare.TV to convert the links so they are safe for my students.

Steps for converting YouTube videos:
1. Find video on YouTube.  For example, How I Spent My Summer Vacation :

2. Copy and paste link into 's safe link generator

3. Ensure it is the video you want.  Then click "SUBMIT"

4. Now you have a link you can put onto your Symbaloo page.  It will take students directly to the SAFE site to listen to the story.

What is great about Symbaloo is that you can add, edit, and delete the sites you add.  I plan to change up my Listen to Reading stories once every two weeks. And that is how I will use Symbaloo for Listen to Reading!


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