Utilizing Wheel of Names: A Fun Way to Call on Students for any Classroom Setting

By: Matt Rhoads, Ed.D

Dr. Matt Rhoads is a Tech and Instructional Leader and Innovator with hands in Adult Ed, K-12, and Higher Education. He is the author of several books and is the host of Navigating Education – The Podcast.

Have you ever wanted to randomly pick on students without using popsicle sticks? Do you want to create a fun and engaging way for students to see their names possibly being picked? This can be done in a matter of a few minutes and either online teaching synchronously or in-person. Ultimately, using a mechanism like this to call on students is a more equitable opportunity to get all of your students to participate verbally in your class.ย 

Go to www.wheelofnames.com to begin! You will first see below what it looks like when you access the website. Then, following the image of the wheel, there will be a set of steps and a video showing how to create a wheel and launch the wheel while in class online or in person. 

Watch the Entire Tutorial in Action! – Watch: Wheel of Names Tutorial

Steps to Creating a Wheel of Names

  1. Go to www.wheelofnames.com 
  2. Then, on the far right-hand side of the screen, type in all of your studentโ€™s names in your class. 
  3. Click Save. 
  4. Click Customize. 
    1. You can change the sound, the amount of time the spinner spins, the max number of names visible on the wheel, etc. 
  5. Once you are done customizing, click Save. 
  6. After you are done with these steps, you are ready to launch this Wheel of Names for your class. 

Watch How-To: Video of Creating Wheel of Names

Steps to Using the Wheel of Names in your Class

  1. Open up your wheel of names that youโ€™ve created on www.wheelofnames.com. Be sure to KEEP the Wheel of Names open on your internet browser. 
  2. Open up your Zoom meeting through Zoom.us or on your calendar. 
  3. After opening up your meeting, sharing your screen. 
    1. Be sure to keep your slideshow presentation on the same line of browser tabs as your Wheel of Names tab on your internet browser.
    2. If you are in person, this is something you should do as well so you can go back and forth between your slideshow and Wheel of Names as you call on students throughout the class. 
  4. Then, as appropriate, click on the tab for the Wheel of Names and spin the wheel when you would like to call on students to provide an overt verbal response. 
  5. After you spin the wheel, you will be able to either remove students who have been called from the wheel OR keep them there. 
  6. Have fun!

Watch How-To: Video of Launching Wheel of Names During Zoom

Published by Matthew Rhoads, Ed.D.

Innovator, EdTech Trainer and Leader, University Lecturer & Teacher Candidate Supervisor, Consultant, Author, and Podcaster

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