Create Digital Spinners & 10 Ideas for Classroom Fun!

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Create Digital Spinners & 10 Ideas for Classroom Fun!

Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Creating online digital spinners
  3. Tutorial on using Wheel of Names
  4. Customizing the spinners 4.1 Adding text or images 4.2 Changing the sound and time 4.3 Customizing the winning entry 4.4 Choosing color themes 4.5 Adding an image to the center of the wheel
  5. Saving and accessing the spinners
  6. Ten different wheel ideas for classroom use 6.1 Random student name picker 6.2 Energizers 6.3 Social-emotional learning activities 6.4 Morning meeting games 6.5 Would you rather game 6.6 Reading comprehension questions 6.7 Vocabulary practice 6.8 Reviewing a novel 6.9 Sentence creation for vocabulary words 6.10 Embedding spinners in digital games
  7. Conclusion

Creating and Customizing Online Digital Spinners

Are you looking for a fun and interactive way to engage your students in the classroom? Online digital spinners can be a great tool to add excitement to your lessons and activities. In this article, we will explore how to create and customize online spinners using the free tool Wheel of Names. Whether you want to randomly select students, energize your class with quick exercises, or incorporate social-emotional learning activities, this tutorial will walk you through the process step by step. So let's dive in and discover the limitless possibilities of online digital spinners!


As an educator, you're constantly seeking innovative ways to engage your students and make learning more enjoyable. Online digital spinners are a fantastic tool that can add an element of surprise and fun to your lessons. Whether you want to randomly select students for participation, create energizers to get students moving, or incorporate social-emotional learning activities, online spinners can be a game-changer in your classroom.

Creating online digital spinners

One of the most popular questions I receive from teachers is, "Where do I create those online digital spinners?" In this tutorial, I will introduce you to a free online tool called Wheel of Names. With this tool, you can easily create and customize different types of spinners to suit your classroom needs. Let's get started!

Tutorial on using Wheel of Names

To begin creating your online spinner, you will need to visit the website I highly recommend signing in with your Google Suite account to save all the spinners you create. Once you're on the website, a template for a random name picker will appear. Simply type your students' names along the side and click the spinner to choose a student. It's that easy!

Customizing the spinners

While the default spinner design can fulfill most needs, Wheel of Names allows for extensive customization to make your spinners more visually appealing and interactive. Let's explore how you can personalize your spinners to engage your students further.

Adding text or images

You can customize the items on your spinner by adding text or images. For instance, if you're creating a random name picker, you can type out the names of your students. Alternatively, you have the option to insert images for each item on the wheel. To do this, select "add image" and upload the respective images.

Changing the sound and time

Wheel of Names allows you to change the sound and duration of the spin. By default, a ticking sound plays while the wheel is spinning, but you can modify this to suit your preferences. Additionally, you can adjust the time it takes for the wheel to spin. Shorter durations are ideal for quick activities, while longer durations build anticipation.

Customizing the winning entry

To make the moment of selection more exciting, you can customize what happens after the spinner lands on an item. You can choose the sound that plays, animate the winning entry to make it stand out, and even remove the winner automatically. Additionally, you can customize the display message that appears when the spinner stops.

Choosing color themes

Wheel of Names offers default color themes, or you can create a custom color palette. By selecting different colors, you can create visually appealing spinners that align with your classroom theme or activity. You can even use pre-designed themes based on seasons or other themes to save time and effort.

Adding an image to the center of the wheel

To give your spinner a unique touch, you can add an image to the center of the wheel. This image can represent the theme of your spinner or the specific activity you're conducting. Wheel of Names provides a gallery of images to choose from, or you can upload your own.

Saving and accessing the spinners

Once you're satisfied with the customization of your spinner, click the "save" button at the top. Name your wheel, and it will be saved to your account for future use. If you have multiple spinners, you can easily access them by clicking "open" when you're logged into your account. Your spinners will be ready to use whenever you need them.

Ten different wheel ideas for classroom use

Now that you're familiar with creating and customizing online digital spinners, let's explore ten different wheel ideas that you can try out with your students. These ideas cover a range of activities, from selecting random students to engaging in social-emotional learning exercises. Let's dive in!

  1. Random student name picker: Keep your students on their toes by using a spinner to select a random student for participation or answering questions. This ensures equal participation and keeps the classroom dynamic.

  2. Energizers: Combat a sedentary classroom environment by incorporating energizers into your lessons. Create a spinner with various exercises, such as jumping jacks or push-ups, to get students moving and invigorate their minds.

  3. Social-emotional learning activities: Use a spinner to add excitement to activities focused on social-emotional learning. Include different SEL questions on the wheel and spin it multiple times to encourage discussions and interactions among students.

  4. Morning meeting games: Make your morning meetings more engaging by using a spinner to choose a game to play. By having a variety of games in your spinner, you can add an element of surprise and encourage active participation.

  5. Would you rather game: Foster critical thinking and decision-making skills by creating a spinner with different "would you rather" questions. Students can take turns spinning the wheel and sharing their responses, leading to meaningful discussions.

  6. Reading comprehension questions: Develop reading comprehension skills by creating a spinner with a variety of questions related to a text. Whether it's discussing with a partner or responding in a chat box, the spinner ensures that each student engages with different questions.

  7. Vocabulary practice: Enhance vocabulary skills by creating a spinner that prompts students to think of unique sentences for given words. This activity encourages creativity and provides opportunities for language practice.

  8. Reviewing a novel: Make novel reviews interactive by spinning the wheel and randomly selecting students to provide insights or summaries. This activity keeps students engaged and reinforces their understanding of the story.

  9. Sentence creation for vocabulary words: Amplify vocabulary learning by using a spinner to assign each student a vocabulary word. They then have to create a sentence using that word, promoting language fluency and application.

  10. Embedding spinners in digital games: Take your digital games to the next level by embedding spinners into them. This allows students to access the spinner directly from a Google Slide or webpage, making the game more interactive and enjoyable.


Online digital spinners can revolutionize your classroom by infusing an element of excitement and interactivity into your lessons. With the help of Wheel of Names, you can easily create and customize spinners to suit a variety of classroom activities. Whether you're randomly selecting students, engaging in fun energizers, or promoting social-emotional learning, spinners can greatly enhance your teaching experience. So, why not give it a try and see the difference it makes in your classroom?


  • Create and customize online digital spinners using Wheel of Names
  • Easily select random students for participation
  • Energize your classroom with quick exercise spinners
  • Promote social-emotional learning with interactive activities
  • Make morning meetings more engaging with game spinners
  • Foster critical thinking with "would you rather" spinners
  • Enhance reading comprehension with question spinners
  • Practice vocabulary skills with sentence creation spinners
  • Reinforce novel understanding through review spinners
  • Embed spinners in digital games for interactive fun


Q: Can I use Wheel of Names without a Google Suite account? A: While it is recommended to sign in with a Google Suite account to access additional features like saving and organizing spinners, you can still use Wheel of Names without an account.

Q: Can I customize the design of the spinners further? A: Yes, Wheel of Names allows you to change the colors, add images, and even customize the sound and time of the spinning animation.

Q: Is Wheel of Names free to use? A: Yes, Wheel of Names is a free online tool that provides a user-friendly interface for creating and customizing spinners.

Q: Can I use Wheel of Names on different devices? A: Yes, Wheel of Names is a web-based tool, so you can access it from any device with an internet connection.

Q: Can I share my spinners with other teachers? A: Yes, you can share the link to your spinners with other teachers or students, allowing them to use the same spinners in their classrooms or activities.

Q: Are there any alternative tools similar to Wheel of Names? A: While Wheel of Names is a popular tool, there are other online spinner generators available, such as Flippity Spinner, Random Name Picker, and ClassTools Random Name Picker. These tools offer similar functionality and customization options.

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