Virtual wheel spinners are great tools for making learning fun and engaging. But, what’s better than one spinner wheel!? Using 1, 2, 3, 4… or even 8 random spinner wheels at one time! In this post, learn how to make and then spin a wheel (or multiple spinner wheels) with one of my favorite new digital learning tools, Spinner Wheel. Spinner Wheel has quickly become my favorite digital spinning wheel because of its multi-spinner function and customization features. I know you and your students will love it too!
What is Spinner Wheel?
If you are unfamiliar, Spinner Wheel is a free online random wheel app that can help you make choices in your classroom. Whether randomly selecting names, creating mathematical problems for students to solve, or generating a fun review game at the end of a unit, Spinner Wheel is a great way to catch students’ attention and make learning more interactive whether teaching remotely or in-person.
The random spinner wheel is also the first of its kind in that it allows you to create and use multiple custom-designed spinner wheels independently or at the same time. The multi-wheel function makes Spinner Wheel the easiest random wheel spinner tool to use and allows for more possibilities in the classroom.
Spinner Wheel is also highly customizable. Not only can you change the labels on each part of the wheel, but you can also change the colors, backgrounds, wheel centerpiece, sounds, and much more!
How to Make a Spinner Wheel
Now that you’ve heard all about Spinner Wheel’s features, you are probably wondering how to make a spinner wheel.
Getting started is easy! First, go to spinnerwheel.com. An account is not required but logging into the site with your Google, Twitter, or email account will allow you to save your random spinners for future use.
To start, type each of the names or items into the box next to the wheel. Separate the items by pushing “enter” on your keyboard. You can also click the image icon, located above the box to add images to the spaces. The smiley face in the lower, right-hand corner will allow you to add emojis.
Customize a Spinner Wheel
Now it’s time to customize your virtual wheel! Clicking the cog icon (wheel settings) above the box will allow you to truly make the spinner wheel your own.
The “While Spinning” tab will allow you to control what happens when the wheel is spinning. You can change the sound being made and the number of seconds the wheel will spin.
Next, the “Post-Spin” tab allows you to decide what happens after the wheel stops spinning. You can:
- select the sound that is played
- select an animation to play such as confetti or fireworks
- type what the popup will say that reveals the selection
- determine whether an option will remain on the wheel or be removed after it is spun
Last, on the “Design” tab, you can choose the colors that are part of the wheel and if there should be an image or text in the center of the wheel.
Your virtual spinner is not the only thing you can customize. Using the Design icon (located at the top of the page), you can also change the color of the background or upload a background image.
Spinner Wheel also provides a variety of themes you can select when making a spinner wheel. The custom themes are great when making random spinners for holidays, seasons, or specific subjects. I especially liked using the “Planet Earth” theme recently when designing a science review game about the solar system.
Make Multiple Spinner Wheels
You’ve learned how to make a spinner wheel. Now, it’s time to make multiple wheel spinners that can be used at the same time!
After you’ve made one virtual wheel spinner, it is easy to keep adding more. Simply click the “Add” icon in the upper, right-hand corner to keep adding up to eight wheels. Each of your wheels can be customized in the same way that you created your first wheel. You can also copy and paste the information from the first wheel onto additional wheels.
How to Use Spinner Wheel
After you’ve finished making your spinner wheel or wheels, make sure to click the “Save” icon so that you can reuse it throughout the school year. You can access your virtual wheel spinners anytime by clicking the “My Wheels” icon in the top, right-hand corner.
When using my wheel spinners with students, I like to display them in “Fullscreen” mode so that students can easily see all the wheels at one time.
When it’s time to spin the wheel, you can spin each one individually by clicking on each spinner one at a time. Or, you can spin all the wheels at the same time by clicking “Spin All” in the upper, left-hand corner.
Whether spinning one wheel or eight wheels, virtual spinner wheels are a great way to catch students’ attention. These digital learning tools are also easy to use in the classroom or for virtual learning.
Random Wheel Spinner Games
Now that you know how to make a spinner wheel, let’s talk about a few games and activities you can use Spinner Wheel with.
Random Names Wheel
One of the most obvious ways to use a random wheel spinner is to select students’ names. But the multi-wheel function allows you to take this to the next level. I spin two to four wheels at the same time to assign students to small groups. I then set Spinner Wheel to automatically remove the names after they are spun so that no student is selected twice.
Number Wheel Games
There are endless math games you can play using Spinner Wheel. For example, you can use the wheels to generate math problems. Recently, I was teaching fractions and was able to quickly and randomly generate three to four fractions that students could add.
Spinner Wheel also provides a virtual dice roller that is perfect for math centers.
Picture Identification Games
When creating your Spinner Wheel, you can upload text or pictures to each section of the spinner. Creating a wheel with all images will allow you to create an easy identification game. Students spin the wheel and name the thing that it lands on. Last week, I created a spinner wheel with pictures of presidents for students to identify.
Writing Prompt Generator
One of my favorite ways to use Spinner Wheel is for creative writing. The online random wheel app has a pre-made “Short Burst Writing” game that generates a character, setting, and plot. Students must use all of the information spun to write a story. It can be fun to compare stories written by students given the same information.
I’ve provided lots of information for using Spinner Wheel here. But, if you’re looking for even more information about how to create custom random wheels with Spinner Wheel and activities to go with it, be sure to check out this video. In the video, I walk you through the process of creating a spin the wheel game and provide lots of examples of activities to use with Spinner Wheel.
If you’ve been wondering how to make a spinner wheel, Spinner Wheel is the best option! As you can see, there are many tools and features that will allow you to make a free spin wheel that is perfect for you and your students. Best of all, the customization process is simple. I have made all of my random spinners in under five minutes. I hope you and your students enjoy using Spinner Wheel!