Give the old popsicle sticks in a jar a tech-friendly update.
Spinners and pickers are a great tool for the classroom. They help you and your class make decisions in a totally random way. Use them to choose individuals, groups, activities, rewards, time segments, and more. Here are a dozen of our favorite online spinners and pickers.
1. Wheel Spinner
Wheel Spinner is simple to use and has lots of customizable options. Choose your theme, colors, speed, or even the language (over 30 options). We especially love all the sounds you can choose, from ticking and all sorts of music to launching confetti and subdued applause.
2. Roll the dice
Need to choose a table group to line up first? Or pick a number for how many math exercises to assign for homework? Take a roll of the die with this neat tool from TeacherLed. Select one, two, or three dice, click “roll dice,” and watch as they roll up the alley and bobble as they settle. Your students will love the authentic sound and realistic graphics.
3. Pull the one-armed bandit
Your students will love this random picker from Random Name Picker, which simulates a slot machine. Enter your custom name, group, or activity list (up to 10 entries at a time), press play, and watch the choices roll by as authentic slot machine music plays. This site also has a customizable spinner wheel.
4. Line ’em up
You’re going to want to bookmark this site, for sure! Flippity has an amazing variety of useful classroom tools. Try their spinning wheel which has options for group and team generators, random name pickers, seating chart makers, lineup pickers (shown above), and more.
5. Follow the rainbow
Online Stopwatch is a treasure trove of random name generators. We love the Pot of Gold option (above) and also the Magic Box, Random Cog Machine, and Crane Claw Picker. In addition, this site has lots of options for timers and group generators.
6. Pick a name out of the hat
Make random picks with a quick pull of a name out of the hat. The best thing about this tool is each name can only be picked one time, and once all of the names have been picked, they are automatically shuffled and reloaded. Transum also has a spinning wheel, random student, and group generators.
Create teams quickly and randomly with this tool from PickerWheel. All you have to do is input your name list and it will create however many teams you like and even balance the gender distribution if you’d like.
8. Flip a coin
Make quick decisions with a flip of the coin with this tool from FlipSimu. Customize your colors and choices (yes or no, heads or tails, inside or outside, etc.). Then all you have to do is click Flip It and…decision made. Also, check out FlipSimu’s dice roller tool.
9. Make a random pick
Random is Class Dojo‘s random student generator tool. Great for choosing a volunteer, someone to go first, or someone to read the next section. Class Dojo is free for teachers; all you have to do is create an account. Other great tools include their group maker, class noise meter, a think pair share picker, and lots of great options for classroom music.
10. Ask the Magic Eight Ball
Need an answer to a tricky question? Look into the magic eight ball and find your answer with this fun online tool from Online Stopwatch. Stick with the standard responses or customize with your own list of names, answers, or numbers.
11. Crack open a coconut
Pick a winner with this fun tool, which randomly shuffles your custom name list and picks first, second, and third place winners.
12. Go fish
Import your students’ names or student numbers into this easy-to-use tool, then cast your line and pull up a big one!
What are your favorite online pickers and spinners for the classroom? Please share in the comments!