Best Spinners and Pickers for Online Learning

Give the old popsicle sticks in a jar a tech-friendly update.

Best Spinners and Pickers for Online Learning

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. Spin the wheel

rainbow colored wheel with names

Wheel of Names 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

chute with three colored dice on the surface

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

jackpot window with name inside

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

line of purple ovals in a line with names inside

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

pot of gold with a name on it in front of 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

hand reaching into red top hat picking out a slip of paper with a name on it

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. 

7. Team up

three color coded cards with names listed on them

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

pink circle with the word tails in the center

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 

drawing of smart phone and computer screen with Dojo app shown

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

magic eight ball with question marks on it

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

three coconut halves with names on signs inside on pedestals with labels 1st, 2nd, 3rd 

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

colorful drawing of a fish on a hook with a question mark drawn on its body

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! And for more teacher tips and tricks, be sure to subscribe to our newsletters.

Plus, Best Online Timers for the Classroom.  

Best Spinners and Pickers for Online Learning

Posted by Elizabeth Mulvahill

Elizabeth Mulvahill is a teacher, writer and mom who loves learning new things, hearing people's stories and traveling the globe.

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