You know how it can be a real challenge to choose who goes first for activities, no matter what the activity? Well, I generally go with the "I'm looking for a friend who is sitting the quietest and that friend will get to choose first" method...however, sometimes the excitement to sit quietly wears off...so in comes, Tap Roulette! This free app will definitely make students way more motivated to get quiet and have the chance to get picked to go first! It's a great use of an iPad/iPod...especially if you only have one in your room...and super simple to use- your little friends can definitely even be in charge of this one. Steps are listed below- it really only takes a few seconds and you'll know who is going first. All you need is a few friends' fingers on the iPad and one person (probably you) to click "pick finger" and then one finger is randomly selected and you and your students then know who is going first.
I think Tap Roulette would be super for centers -- instead of always resorting to something along the lines of, "if you have the longest hair, you can go first"...now each group can put their fingers down and just a second later they'll know who is going first. Or, for partner activities, both partners can put their fingers down and then a second later they will know who is going first and that it was totally randomly selected...no more arguing...hopefully. :) For larger group activities, this also can be used in combination with my "looking for a quiet friend"- I can choose three or four of the quietest friends to come up and then use the app and go from there!
Another free app that I learned about that is also great for choosing a student, especially with an entire class is iLEAP Pick a Student. This would be perfect for picking an order for who is sharing something first, who gets to choose a book first, etc. It is also quick to set up where you can list all your students by name or simply have their number listed and then it is ready to use. There are two options for how you can pick students. Turn based- each student gets a turn before anyone else can have a 2nd turn OR random- names are selected totally randomly each time. Again, I think my little friends could even be in charge of this when it comes to clicking the buttons and choosing students- it really would make picking students that much more exciting. :)