Random Choices from my Interactive Whiteboard

The slot-machine interface with big blue buttons makes randomly choosing students fun -- especially on an interactive whiteboard.

The slot-machine interface with big blue buttons makes randomly choosing students fun -- especially on an interactive whiteboard.

I finally had a chance to crack open one of Sanfields’ free flash resources for teachers (which I’ve blogged about before) and everything worked great.

I had been looking for a reason to incorporate Les Rouleaux and found it when we started a unit on Negotiation.

As you can see, Les Rouleaux is a slot-machine inspired interface which spins and stops randomly after a button is pushed.  The example on the Sanfields website randomly chooses a kind of weather, a kind of clothing, and an activity.  This can be used in any number of ways (practicing vocabulary, writing sentences, etc.).

The best part about this activity (and most others on Sanfields) is that they are editable.  In this case, you can exchange, edit, or create your own slot-machine reels.  (Each reel is a .jpg image with 15 images measuring 120 x 125 pixels.)  Complete instructions and the files you need to download are all on the website.

In my example, I created a reel with my students’ pictures, which I used for the first and third reels, and another that had the styles of negotiation we had been studying (win-win and hard / soft).  The two students who were selected by the slot-machine had to roleplay a negotiation in the style that was selected for them.

Because I don’t have 15 students in my class, I created “Students’ Choice” and “Teacher’s Choice” squares to fill in the remaining spaces.  Also, obviously, I have blurred my students faces in my example to protect their privacy.

My students really enjoyed incorporating this activity into our classroom.  Granted, it’s a bit indulgent.  I could have pulled names out of a hat and I could have clicked the buttons on my laptop instead of the interactive whiteboard, but students did enjoy this richer, more interactive experience.

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