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Random Name Picker

Teach Starter Publishing Suitable for grades:  PK - 6

Use this free random name picker in your classroom when choosing a student to complete a task, answer a question, or participate in an activity!

This free random name picker for teachers allows you to enter your students’ names, and get a random name generated for you! A student name randomizer is a great tool for classroom games or when prompting students to answer questions, and it can also be used to assign student jobs, pick a new line leader … really the sky is the limit! This crucial tool in your teacher toolkit also helps you save paper — no more picking names out of a hat when a random name is picked for you.

Ways to Use the Random Name Picker in Your Classroom

Taking Attendance

Make taking attendance a little more fun. Input your class list into the random name selector, and click spin!

Want to use your list day after day? Go check out the Gallery tab on your home feed. You can simply click on the Word Lists tab, and create a new list to save your class list for future use each time you pull up the random name picker!

Don’t want to repeat a student as you work your way down the class list? That’s easy: As each name is read out, click “remove name?” to ensure it doesn’t come up again. This can help with your classroom management in the morning too — after all, if the names are randomized, students will have to listen quietly to ensure they hear when their name is called.

Selecting classroom prize winners

Do you give out classroom prizes? Wondering how to add an engaging element? The Teach Starter random name picker widget is your new best friend. Load student names into the random hero selector, and let it spin!

Answer Questions

Do you have students who often fly under the radar when it comes to class participation? Randomize name selection to make sure you’re calling on every student equally (and check out how to make good use of equity sticks in your class).

Explore Probability in Math Class

Use the random name selector to teach your class a lesson on probability. Input as many or as few names as you like, and tabulate the randomly selected results.

If you would prefer to tie this activity in with a themed lesson, why not change the class list names to vocabulary words?

Some ideas for using the results generated:

  • Create a tally table of results.
  • Create a graph of your results. Use a blank graph template to represent how many times each word was chosen after a certain number of clicks.
  • Ask your students to work out the probability of each word before and after you add or remove words, or even if you input words more than once!
  • Complete a frequency table of how often each word is selected.

Grouping/ Choosing Teams/ Buddy Match-Up

If you are splitting your class into small groups or pairing up students, this widget makes the perfect tool to ensure fairness and no favorites.

Some opportunities for you to use the random name picker widget to group your students could be:

  • when designating working groups
  • during lessons where your students are paired up with students from other classes
  • while asking students to peer review each others’ work
  • when assigning groups for assessment purposes

Spelling Warm Up

Students’ names can be interesting and unique — just like the students themselves! Use student names in a literacy warm-up to help your students practice their basic spelling and word analysis.

Some ideas of literacy activities to do with student names:

Line Up

Use our random name picker to choose line leaders and line-up orders that are new every day or week of the school year.

Classroom Job Delegation

Classroom jobs are great for teaching your students responsibility and for making the running of your classroom just a little bit easier. Make choosing who gets to clean up the whiteboard and more easier and fairer with a randomizer.

Class Presentations

If your students love show and tell, they’ll be clamoring to go first when it’s their day. Help make the process a little more civilized by putting the day’s list of presenters into the widget, and watch it spin!

If your students aren’t brave enough to get up in front of the class quite yet, help them build their speaking and listening skills with ideas from our teacher team: 10 Ideas for Developing the Skills of Speaking and Listening.

Teacher’s Secret Helper

The random name selector also has a very special function as a teacher’s secret helper.

When it’s 8 am on a Friday morning and you’ve just been reminded (whoops!) that you have to nominate a child for student of the week, or to represent your class at assembly, you may find this tool comes in VERY handy.

Looking for more help? Watch how to use the Random Name Picker in our Widgets Webinar.


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  • Virginia Pratt

    Fun resource

    • Bronwyn

      Hi, Virginia! Thanks for your great feedback!

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