This is one of my favorite tools in a classroom and for the home. A spinner is great for random choice making. Place choices on a circular board, and the student presses a switch (or the button in the lower corner) to make selections. But it's RANDOM!
While the selection can be responded to as if it is a choice it should be understood that the student is not actually expressing a preference but merely selecting or responding indiscriminately. It is best used to help a student to participate in the classroom environment with the goal of active participation and practice through accessing and developing an understanding of the purpose of a switch.
Examples of objectives:
- The student will develop the ability to access a switch within a specified time frame
- The student will learn to hit a switch when directed to do so
- The student will take a turn
- The student will learn to inhibit multiple impulsive switch hits
- The student will actively participate in a class activity
It is easy to customize the spinner overlays which are available by either using the pre-made reusable vinyl stickers that can be purchased separately or by designing your own. The sticker sets of numbers, shapes and colors and blank overlays make it possible for students to participate in classroom activities by calling on their classmates, selecting topics for creative writing classes, colors or mediums for art projects (blue glitter, yellow watercolors, etc), or numbers for math quizzes.
You can place Velcro or magnet tape around the outside of the spinner so pictures, words, letters or numbers can easily be exchanged. Consider making additional tag board circles for permanent selections that will occur more often.
An example of a "spinner" activity and template for creating an activity as an AAC participation strategy: The student must spin the spinner and receive or do whatever the arrow lands on. A variation of this might be when the spinner lands on an item, the teacher then asks a yes/no question. For example- Weather spinner lands on "Raining" Is it raining today? Yes/No.
Directing others to perform steps of an activity or to follow directions, examples:
- Put the student's schedule on the spinner and let them spin to see what activity/task should be done next. Remove each one once it is complete.
- Building block tower (“Put a red block on.” Put a rectangular block on.)
- Setting the table (Glasses. Silverware. Napkins.)
- Cooking a stew (Potato cubes. Carrot slices.)
- Treasure Hunt (“Find a pink paper.” Find a purple crayon.”)
- Numbers to have the student direct a math activity. (“S will tell us what number we should multiply by 5.”) (“S will tell us what number we need to add to 1.”)
- Have the student make the selections for a Bingo game (Can use 2 spinners, one with #’s the other with letters.)
- Have a student decide what group of students will get their lunches or coats. (“everyone who is wearing red can go …”)
- How many spaces to move in a game
- Color choices - Have the student select the color of the crayon or marker to be used.
- Choosing who will _____ first, next
- Building collages – choosing what materials to glue on next
- Find animals from the animal box that start with the letter (letters around the spinner)
- Count out ____ objects (#'s around the spinner)
- Count out money that adds up to ____
- Classify objects by shapes (various shapes around the spinner)
- Select a buddy for reading, using the computer, eating next to…
- Choosing who will clean up what – children’s photos and chores (“OK, JACOB, you clean up all the RED legos.”)
- Select the person who will _____ for the day. Place the students’ names or pictures on the outside. Remove the student’s name or picture when chosen so that each student gets a chance.
- Select an object for a classmate to draw
- Select a sticker for a friend or themselves
- Select a picture to go on a card for a friend, teacher or parents
- Select a picture to use as a journal topic
- Large Group Direction:
- Choosing song verse to sing next
- Simon Says or similar games
- Scavenger hunt – look for items with certain qualities (initial sound, colors, made of wood, etc.)
- Provide the words for a spelling test
- Practice multiplication facts
- Be the giver of directions. Example, just saw this on E is for Explore! A little vocabulary activity...
In your classroom, brainstorm ways to use the spinner throughout the day… once you start figuring it out, it is endless….
- YouTube QuickGuide
- Random Selection Devices Implementation Ideas
- Adapted Spinner and Spinner Activities, PDF
- Create a Switch-Adapted Spinner from Battery Fan
- DIY Switch-Adapted Spinner
- 10 Things I can do for Myself