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Flipping over - easily turn Google Sheets into Random Name Pickers, Quiz Show games, and Scavenger Hunts!

Are you teaching a new course during semester 2,  or maybe looking for something new to use in your classroom in the new year?  You may want to consider using a visually engaging and fun tool found on the website

I was introduced to at a workshop I attended in August.'s tools let you build engaging experiences for students based on simple Google Sheets.  The programs are written by a teacher in Western Massachusetts, so they are simple but effective without a lot of extras you don't need.  Here are a couple of options that I found intriguing:

Flippity Random Name Picker

The Random Name Picker on the Flippity website was the first to catch my attention. 
Master teacher Peter Atlas has always used a random name picker in his classroom.  He feels it provides students a safe space to learn.  Students are randomly picked to answer a question, so it feels fair.  But, they also stay engaged because they could be picked at any time!  (Peter actually uses a tool coded for him by another Master teacher, Anthony Beckwith. )

How does it work?

Follow the Instructions found at the bottom of the tool tile.

Essentially, you do the following:

  • Make a copy of the Google Sheet Template* provided in the Instructions.
  • Edit the Google Sheet and add the names of your students.
  • Rename the worksheet tab to reflect your class name.
  • Follow directions by clicking File>Publish to the web and click Publish.
Once you publish your Sheet, you will be provided with a link in the tab named Get the Link Here.  Use this link to access the name picker with your students' names!  It really is that simple!

*This Google Sheet template has an active script that creates the wheel and allows you to run the name picker.

More Capabilities:

You may have noticed a series of tabs across the top of the demo Name Picker.  They offer some interesting capabilities:

Use the Single Name or Lineup tabs to ensure that all students are picked before they are re-picked again.  (The Spinner tab is truly random.  It is possible a student might be picked twice while one has yet to be picked.)

You can use the other tabs to create Groups, Teams, or a Seating Chart.

Other Interesting Options on

I haven't had a chance to explore the other options thoroughly, but here are a few I thought worth investigating:

Quiz Show (like Jeopardy): also offers a Jeopardy Game, which in my experience students find very engaging.  This type of game is usually created in a presentation application like Google Slides or Power Point, taking advantage of their ability to link to various slides in the presentation.   I created one a number of years ago, and it took so much time!  Rhonda Penaud and I will be presenting the tool at the World Language Department Mini EdTech camp session at the end of the month.

Flippity Scavenger Hunt (similar to Breakout EDU):

I am really intrigued by the possibilities of using content knowledge to unlock locks and achieve a goal.  I think students would really appreciate a learning experience like this.  Amy Byron's students enjoyed their first day of school (using Breakout EDU), and will soon experience another session during an upcoming Chemistry unit.

Multimedia allowed?

Both the Quiz Game and Scavenger Hunt games allow images, video, and Google Docs to be added.

Attention Math teachers!  Both EquatI0 and Desmos links are supported in the Quiz Show and Scavenger Hunt templates!


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