Image of Random Name Picker

Widget

Random Name Picker

Grades: Pre-K - 6

A random name picker for you to use in your classroom when choosing a student to complete a task, answer a question, or participate in an activity!

This random name picker allows you to enter your students’ names, and get a random name generated for you! A name randomizer is a great tool for classroom games or 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 Selector

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!

As each name is read out, click ‘remove name?’ to ensure it doesn’t come up again. Your students will be quiet and attentive. They don’t want to miss their name!

Selecting classroom prize winners

If you give out class prizes, then the 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

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 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.

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 blog, 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.

Comments & Reviews

Write a review to help other teachers and parents like yourself. If you would like to request a change (Changes & Updates) to this resource, or report an error, simply select the corresponding tab above.

Log in or sign up to join the conversation.

Virginia Pratt

Fun resource

Virginia Pratt · Jul 5th, 2021

Bronwyn

Hi, Virginia! Thanks for your great feedback!

Bronwyn · Jul 5th, 2021

Suggest a change

Would you like something changed or customized on this resource? While our team evaluates every suggestion, we can't guarantee that every change will be completed.

You must be logged in to request a change. Sign up now!


Report an Error

You must be logged in to report an error. Sign up now!

If any of our resources do not have 100% accurate American English (en-US), simply click on the 'Report an error' tab above to let us know. We will have the resource updated and ready for you to download in less than 24 hours. Read more...

Help

Are you having trouble downloading or viewing this resource? Please try the following steps:

  1. Check that you are logged in to your account
  2. Check that you have a paid subscription
  3. Check that you have installed Adobe Reader (download here)

If you are still having difficulty, please visit the Teach Starter Help Desk or contact us.

Contact us