Decide Now… goodbye “pick sticks”
App: Decide Now
SAMR Model Rating: Augmentation
Grade level: Kindergarten
Subject area: Can be used for all subjects
Description of the lesson taught:
If you have been in a classroom for the last 20 or so years as I have, and I’ll admit the majority of those years was as a student, you know what the tin can at the front of the room with large popsicle sticks labeled with names is used for. It is a very familiar learning tool that most students and teachers can recognize and have used. It is a fair way to choose students to answer questions, volunteer for tasks, be the next class helper, assign partners, or pick students for class jobs, to name a few. You’ll agree I am sure, the “stick pick” jar is very useful in the classroom setting. I have found an update to the “stick pick” jar, that teachers and students are so fond of. It has a variety of useful purposes in the classroom. It is an application called Decide Now.
I teach Kindergarten and use Decide Now daily for many different lessons across subject areas. Decide Now reminds me of Wheel of Fortune. You can imput students names to create a wheel that interactively spins to decide on a student to call on for a task.
My students love watching to see whose name comes up and reading it all together as the wheel finally “dings” to a stop. It is an exciting way to choose students and they are fully engaged in the process. And if you teach little ones like I do you can convincingly tell them, “The Wheel will only chose you if you are criss-cross and quite.” In my classroom the Kinder magic is alive and they remain completely quiet and have calm bodies every time we use the wheel in hopes that The Wheel will recognize their good listening and chose them :).
I use the wheel for Math Talks, Morning Message, choosing partners, when I need a volunteer for a given task, and when all friends want to share, but we only have time for a few. Although it mostly has the same benefits as our beloved pick-sticks, I have found the engagement factor higher and continue to find other ways to use The Wheel to enhance lessons and daily routines. For example sometimes I do “May Do’s” and “Must Do’s” and I have created wheels for those activities to assign students to a choice. This tech improvement on “pick sticks” is you can create a wheel for anything, it is not limited to student names. Students can even easily create wheels. I hope you enjoy using Decide Now in your classroom and playing Wheel of Students. Comment and let me know other ideas and uses you come up with for this engaging app.