We use C-Scope curriculum. The 5th grade Science curriculum called for the students to create a brochure on an animal, plant, and scientist. The curriculum offered up a list of choices. My 5th grade Science teacher didn't want to assign the topics, she didn't want the students to pick only animals, plants or scientists they already knew about, and she didn't want the students spending a lot of time agonizing of their choices. Enter The Randomizer:
It's actually a tool in the SMART Notebook software that comes with SMART Boards - Random Word Generator. The Random Word Generator is part of an add on called Lesson Activity Toolkit 2.0. You can download it here.
I add three Random Word Generators to one page. I loaded the animal names in the first, plants in the second, and the scientists in the third. I clicked "No Repeat" on each generator. This keeps more than one student from getting the same animal, plant, or scientist in the same class.
I loaded The Randomizer on the Science teacher's desktop and my laptop. We each called students up and had them click the Select button. The Randomizer makes a fun little noise and highlights choices until it lands on that student's choice. We did reset each generator after each class.
The students thought it was fun and the teacher loved that everyone had a different combination for their brochure. And it wasn't boring liking drawing choices out of a hat!
Have you used the Random Word Generator? I think it would be fun a writing activity to build a story using the Random Word Generator.
Do you have favorite tools from the Lesson Activity Toolkit? Let's hear about them in the comments!