Using Wheel Spinner for Decision-Making in the Classroom

Download ESL Books and Free PDFs

Amazon LogoOrder your copy of the books on Amazon! Click here.

Decision-making is an important skill to learn. Indecisiveness often leads to growth paralysis and makes people afraid to commit to anything. Such a person often lets go of opportunities that would have benefited them.

It is important that the people in charge of raising the next generation inculcate decision-making skills in them. Teachers are one group that belongs to this category. How they deal with students in the classroom has a lot of effect on how students view the world and develop their skills.

Today, we are going to look at how gamification and chance can help with decision-making in the classroom. To be more clear, we are going to look at a particular type of tool that helps with this: a wheel spinner.

Wheel spinners are unbiased and random. Making decisions with their help meant that there were no personal feelings involved and the decision was truly random.


Wheel Spinner in Classroom


Wheel Spinner and Decision-Making in a Classroom Environment

Let’s see how we can use a wheel spinner in various classroom situations where unbiased decision-making is required.

1. Deciding Classroom Roles

In most typical schools, there are various classroom roles assigned to specific students. These roles can include:

  • Class monitors
  • Students on cleaning duty
  • Class representatives

Typically, these roles are decided arbitrarily by the teacher. However, this can result in some dissatisfaction. Maybe the chosen students don’t want to do the roles. Maybe there is someone who wants a specific role but got chosen for a different one.

The only way to deal with this dissatisfaction is to make an unbiased decision. With a digital wheel spinner, a teacher can randomly select a student for each role. This can be done transparently so no student has any reservations about the decision-making process.

As a result, everyone is more or less on board with the final result, even if it may not be to their liking. This teaches students a lesson: to stand by any decisions that were made, even if they are not to their liking. This is a valuable lesson to learn as it helps people be more decisive in critical moments.

2. Selecting Group Members for Group Activities

Many times, a teacher may hold group activities to promote team building and camaraderie among the students. However, team-building exercises are futile if students are allowed to make their own groups. That is because, inevitably, most students will form a group with their friends.

In a real-life situation, this would be a luxury; after all, in a professional setting, you can’t choose who to work with. So, a decisive person needs to be able to work with anyone without friction.

By using a wheel spinner, teachers can make groups randomly and force students to collaborate with people that they normally don’t work with. The element of chance added by the wheel ensures that the decision is unbiased.

In this way, students learn to cooperate with people they have little to no experience working with. This is an important skill to have for decision-making, as it reduces factors that can lead to indecision.

Indecision occurs when a person cannot weigh the pros and cons of two or more outcomes. By reducing factors that appear to be cons (i.e., working with unknown people), it becomes easier to make a decision.

3. Deciding on Homework Assignments and Quizzes

A good way of teaching how to live with the consequences of your decisions is to give students partial autonomy. For example, if you are holding a quiz or handing out an assignment, you can give students partial agency to decide the topic, format, and deadline.

Instead of letting students arbitrarily choose, teachers can provide suitable options and let the students choose through a wheel spin. Why a wheel spinner? Because the wheel spinner is unbiased; it will make a decision without caring for either the teacher or the students.

Regardless of whether the outcome of the wheel spin is to the students liking or not, they will have to abide by it. This gives students the grit to handle hard decisions and follow them through to the end–a hallmark skill of decisive people.

Of course, care is required. You cannot haphazardly apply this method. First of all, the options provided must be somewhat similar in their risk/reward. You cannot make one of the options overwhelmingly easy or difficult. Instead, keep most of them near the average level and make a few options slightly easier or harder.

Have the students spin the wheel to choose an assignment/quiz topic/format and then hold them to the outcome.

4. Randomly Selecting Students For Questions

During a class, teachers often ask random students questions to ensure that they are listening.

Teachers may not realize it, but they definitely have favorite students. They are more inclined to call upon them to answer questions.

However, this might cause resentment in other students who also want to answer questions. It also leaves out the inattentive students that need a prod to stay active.

Using a wheel spinner, teachers can select random students to ask questions in class. The result is unbiased as the wheel can select any student randomly. So, there is an equal chance that all three types of students will be selected.

This also removes the burden from the teacher’s shoulders to remain unbiased. In this way, teachers can also use a wheel spinner to make the decision-making process easier for themselves.

5. Deciding on Topics With a Spin

Deciding on which topics to cover next can be a fun little exercise. Teachers can provide students with some snippets of information about the next topics and have the students create a short list of topics they would like to cover first.

The top entries can be put on a wheel spinner for random selection. Then, the order in which each topic is selected is the order in which the topics will be covered.

This is a fun way to enhance the decision-making process in a classroom. It has limited applications because, most of the time, topics in a curriculum have a logical progression. However, in many science and literature subjects, it is possible to learn topics that do not rely on each other in any order you want.


Decision-making in the classroom is a harmless endeavor. It can teach children how to beat indecision in a safe environment. Using gamification elements like the wheel spinner adds to the fun while also maintaining unbiasedness.

We highlighted various situations in which a spinning wheel can help both students and teachers make quick and easy decisions. So, if you are in a position to introduce such fun ways of teaching and developing skills, then apply them promptly.

Do you have a story about teaching or learning English?

Submit your story and it could get featured in our next blog publication.

Read more stories on the blog.

More Blog Articles for Teaching and Learning English: