Using dice as a randomizer

If you’ve been using the classroom management game I wrote about before, then you’ll probably be needing some sort of system to call on students randomly. This will help you avoid disappointing the students when you don’t choose them, and no one will be able to accuse you of favoritism.

If you have a smart phone or internet access in the classroom, then try using an app like Random Name Selector, or If you don’t have either of those options, then dice are a good alternative.

For a small class:

If you have 12 students or fewer you can use 2 dice. Option 1 is to assign each student a number and roll the dice. If you roll a number that is not assigned to anyone, then just roll again.

Option 2 is what I use for classes of between 7 and 12 students. It sounds complicated when I explain it, but it is actually really simple. First, I assign each student a number 1-6, so I may end up with 2 kids who are assigned #1. (For example, Billy=1, Jane=2, Joe=3, Jim=4, Mary=5, Peter=6, Jenny=1, Pam=2). For the students who share a number (in the example it would be Billy and Jenny sharing 1, and Jane and Pam sharing 2), I assign each student + or -.

When I roll the dice, the one on my left is the number I call out (e.g. 2), and the one on my right determines + or -. If the number is even, I say “plus” and if it’s odd I say “minus.” (So, if I call “2+” it’s Jane, but “2- is Pam.) Using different colored dice can help you keep track of things.

Now, this does mess up the odds of being called on, so I try to make sure that the very best students are the ones who share a number. They don’t need as much practice, after all.

For a big class

For a big class, instead of assigning + or -, assign each student a second number. Let’s say you have 36 kids in the class. You can divide them into 6 groups, and within each group kids will be assigned a number 1-6. So if you roll 4 and 5, you will call on group 4, student #5.


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