This app must be shared with every educator you know. It has changed student engagement in my classroom!

At only one dollar, Decide Now makes decisions for you. {I don’t get any kickback from this, by the way. I just think it’s a terrific resource.} It’s designed for endless uses, but I use it to pick students. I’ve found this most useful when I’m teaching a minilesson. To keep kids focused, I’ll stop throughout the lesson and will have them pair-and-share questions, predictions, take-aways, etc.  I’ll alert them beforehand that I will use the Decide Now app to pick someone out of the class to share their question, prediction, or take-away. (This gets them VERY excited, as opposed to the popsicle stick method, which makes some groan.) The pair-share beforehand gives them ample warning so that they don’t feel caught off guard and so that they can organize their thoughts with a partner. I then hold the phone up for all to see and spin the wheel.

I work at Hogwarts.

 

When it lands on the picked student, their name is highlighted and there is a delightful <<ding!!>

You’d think that like many tricks we use in our rooms, this would lose its luster after a while. But it doesn’t. They get excited EVERY time. Leaving the sound on makes it especially thrilling with its tension-building Wheel-of-Fortune clicks. You can set it up for a longer drawn-out spin, or a quick stop, if you need to keep things short and sweet.

 

When I use the app, I find student involvement goes way up. Kids are much less likely to daydream or goof off during a lesson because they know they may be held accountable in front of their classmates. Using the pair-share helps them out if their thinking process is slower; they have time to process AND they can hear others’ ideas.

Setting up a wheel is super easy.

 

Don’t you love the color schemes?

I set this Harry Potter one up in two minutes.

Here you see a couple of my wheels, but most of them are defaults in the app to get you started. But, talented educator that you are, you can probably come up with dozens of ways to use this. A past principal was thrilled with how this kept kids on their toes throughout the lesson, and she brought it up at our staff meeting as something other teachers should consider trying.

 

How would you use Decide Now in your life/classroom? I’d love to hear others’ ideas!