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Aug182013

'Random Choose': Apps & Web Tools

There are lots of great digital 'randomizers' available to ensure all kids feel prepared and know they are expected to respond in class discussions-a fundamental for effective ongoing formative assessment. Low-tech approaches with names on a stack of index cards or in a can with popsicle sticks work too, but these apps and tools have a gamified feel that create even more engaging lesson comprehension checks of students' understanding. Kids will sit up in suspense to see if their name will be called. They are very easy and intuitive to set up--just begin by entering a list of a group or sub-group of student names. Randomizing lists of vocabulary words, characters, topics for research or classroom reward choices might also be useful. Work groups or partners can also be quickly generated.

Mobile Apps: 

  • Kid Pick: (.99) Randomly pick 1-5 kids at a time and track responses as correct or incorrect. Easy one-button shuffle of class into small groups of equal numbers.
  • Random Name Picker: (1.99) 9 themes and create as many groups as needed. 
  • Stick Pick: ($2.99) Swipe up, shake, or tap device to call on a student. Bloom's question stems are included and option to track how well individual students are responding during class discussions by tapping corrrect or incorrect next to student's names or tapping a 1-5 rating on Bloom's critical thinking rubric. 

 Web-based:

  • Dart Board Selector via BarryFunEnglish: Save/reset names and decrease/ increase throwing speed and/or set timer. 
  • Random Name Picker via classtools.net: Copy/paste in students' names & click Go. Choose format of 'typewriter' or 'fruit machine.'
  • Random Name Selector via John McLear:  Copy/paste in students' names & click Go. Large font & fun sound effects are great for class display.
  • Random Name Generator: Quickly draw name randomly and it will never repeat in same order twice.

More possibilities with laptops, tablets, smart devices: 

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