Saturday, October 5, 2013

Decide Now App

I found a cute app in The App Store that I wanted to share with you. It's called Decide Now.

Please ignore my gray chevron phone background.

The Decide Now app costs $0.99. I normally don't buy apps, but I got an iTunes gift card this summer when I upgraded my laptop, so I'm being a little bit more lenient about The App Store for now. :)


The description of the app shows that it was probably intended more for deciding where to eat or where to go on vacation, but I thought it could be fun to use it for educational purposes.

When you open the app, you'll see the pre-made decision wheels, and you can create your own. I chose that option, since none of the pre-made wheels were education-related.

I've been using Class Dojo with my littles, and they loooove it. But I've wondered: What is going to happen when the thrill of getting those Dojo points is just not enough anymore? I thought I'd probably have to add rewards for certain point levels sooner or later. And just as I suspected, I had a 1st grade friend ask something like, "so... What can we DO with the points? Do we get a prize at the end of the year or something?" Ugh.

I was thinking that maybe I could let the kid with the highest amount of Dojo points in each class spin the decision wheel at the end of the month.

I added as many free rewards as I could think of {although I'm going to hit up Google and Pinterest to find some more options as soon as I'm finished writing this post}, and then I added rewards that won't cost me much at all -- a fun, new pencil, the opportunity to draw with my "special pens" for one class period, etc.

You can change the color of your wheel to match your preferences:

Click "save" to have the app construct the wheel for you:

I have a "magic wand" {i.e. folded metal stick} that I bang against the table when I need to get attention. The kids are ALWAYS asking to wave it, so I threw that in as a reward.

The student can click on the green center button to spin the wheel. The wheels spins with some sound effects and highlights the option it lands on, so it's easy to tell which prize is selected.

There is an option to share via e-mail and Twitter,

but I honestly think it's not even worth your time. When I tested it by e-mailing to myself, all I saw was a picture of the reward wheel with the caption, "I'm about to spin the wheel!" {I thought that maybe I could embed the decision wheel into an e-mail or a blog post, so I'm bummed to report that that is NOT the case.}

That's it.

The app isn't anything particularly fancy, but for $0.99, you might have one other fun tool for your classroom.

Here are my ideas for use:
  • Dojo Points: highest point person gets to spend for a reward
  • Mystery Walker: use it to pick a kid to watch while your class is walking in the hallway. If that student is well-behaved, he/she gets something special {or you can make it a whole class reward}. 
  • Mystery Student: use it to pick a kid to watch while your students are working independently. If the student is well-behaved, he/she gets something special {or you can make it a whole class reward}.
  • Brain Breaks: list potential Brain Breaks and let the wheel decide which one you do.
  • Random Student Picker: insert student names and spin the wheel when you need to pick a student randomly. 
  • Buddy Picker: Spin the wheel in pairs of two to pick partners. 
  • Math Station: Create a wheel with a variety of numbers. The student must spin the wheel to get the first number of the math problem. If you're working on addition, the student can automatically write a plus sign. If you're working on subtraction, the student can write a minus sign... You get the picture. Spin the wheel again to get the second number, then complete the equation on the paper. 
  • Writing Prompt: List a bunch of nouns in the wheel. If a kid having some writer's block, have him/her spin the wheel. Whatever noun pops up has to be the subject of the kid's writing.

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