Random Name Picker

raised hands

Purpose: to ensure that students are called upon randomly and to add some interest to class discussions

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Materials: laptop or tablet and projector; an Internet connection


  1. Type a list of students’ names and save it in a document so that you can copy and paste it into the random name picker.
  2. Set up a laptop and projector and go to one of the following name picker websites:

    http://www.classtools.net/education-games-php/fruit_machine This name picker has two choices.  One is typewriter style and the other is fruit machine.  They are both fun to use as you anticipate which name will be chosen, but there are ads on the page.

    http://www.mauvecloud.net/randomchooser.html This name picker is very basic.  The name appears immediately. There are no ads.

    http://primaryschoolict.com/random-name-selector/ This name picker is fun to watch and allows you to save a list of class names on the site.  There are no ads, but the names are all written in cursive, which may be challenging for students to read.

  1. Copy and paste the list of students’ names into to name picker of your choice.  Delete the names of any absent students.


When it is time to call on a student to share information or answer a question, use the name picker.  If you have concerns about calling on a student who is not prepared to answer, allow students to pass.  The name picker can also be used to assign random student pairs or groups.  Let it choose two names in a row those students can work together.

As an added bonus, using the name picker helps students to learn each other’s names. 

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nice article, very informative, cant wait next one