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With Symbaloo you no longer have to manage this mess. Rather than having students try to navigate to the correct site, YOU copy the URL to the site you like and then add a new tile. Symbaloo already recognizes many URLs and will auto-generate an icon. You can also find one that you like or that your students will better recognize and use that for your tile's icon. When you're ready to share your matrix out, you click on the "share" icon at the top of the page (blue "less than" sign pictured below). Once you've shared your matrix with the students, you can add/delete tiles as needed--just be sure to refresh the actual matrix on the page (see the refresh button below next to the aforementioned share icon).
Symbaloo accounts are FREE! You can use your school email, personal email, or a Google account. Another fun feature is that you can create multiple matrices, so if you have a need for one that's only for "fourth period", then you can title it as that and share it out with those students. Maybe you want to create a page for your staff or grade level team for easy access...just name that matrix and share it out! The possibilities are ENDLESS my friends!
Here's a picture of this year's Symbaloo page--yes, it changes slightly each year as some websites I use change for the needs of my students and/or I am trying different things out. I'll highlight a few of the tiles that are on it:
- Canvas--Our district's LMS, so there's an icon for that (this is what I used to send out the link for the Symbaloo page on the first day of the year--I just posted it as an announcement).
- Book wizard--students can easily level their own books
- Whooo's Reading--keeping our reading logs (read more on it here)
- Powerschool--students can check their grades
- XtraMath--math fact practice (daily as a math workstation)
- Seesaw--a new FAVORITE for anecdotal notes, student reflections, etc. (read more here)
- PLTW--science curriculum for quick access to discussion boards and procedure pages
This tool is highly recommended for classroom efficiency. It is easy to use and set up. I take a little time during one of the first days of school to explain how it works and why we use it which sets us up for smoother sailing throughout the year. *Note: Students that use their home computers would have to get the link you originally shared and bookmark your matrix on their home computer.*