Sunday, December 29, 2013

Featured App: Win A Spin - randomly pick prizes or activities

Does your child have different positive reinforcers that they like, yet struggle with deciding between them? Does your family enjoy doing different activities, but sometimes have a hard time choosing?

Win A Spin can help with these issues in a fun way. Input six prizes or activities and then start spinning.



If you would like to download Win A Spin ($0.99, iPad/iPhone), please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by using our link:

iPad Version


iPhone Version

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Win A Spin is a simple app made by a teacher to be used as a motivator for children. Doodle Smith Ink made this app easy to use. From the home screen, a user can click "Enter Prizes" to enter six different prizes. The music can also be turned on and off from the home screen.

Once the prizes are all entered, a user will hit play to be taken to the wheel. Click on the wheel to watch it spin. Once it lands on something, a key will open the doors to show what was randomly chosen.

I have used this app in my classroom in a different way also.  Our state testing week was crazy last year.  Our testing is all online now and it crashed three days in a row.  The state added a whole week onto the end of our testing, so two weeks turned into three.  Our specials and recess schedules were all different, and we never knew exactly when we were going to get testing completed.  Special Education Teachers were just pulling students for testing as they finished a previous test, so we didn't have a schedule.

There I was as the Special Education Teacher for students with Emotional Disabilities and behaviors, with students who escalated if they did not have consistency.  I was stressed out trying to find the best way to keep things going.  Then, I found Win A Spin.

I put in the six activities that I wanted to be completed each day.  Every half hour, they would spin to find out what they were working on.  I made a quick table in Word, and I was able to write what time the student worked on that activity and a check or X for their behavior during that 30 minute period.

There are many ways that this app could be used, and I am really glad I have it.  How would you use this app in your classroom or at home?
From iTunes:
From the creators of TeacherTipster.com comes “Win-a-Spin” - a colorful, exciting and easy to use app that will keep your kiddos motivated to behave day-in and day-out!

This behavior game is simple enough:

•Personalize your wheel by entering up to six unique prizes. (special snack, extra computer time, sticker, cool pencil, free recess, lunch with the teacher, etc.) Type in anything you’d like! These are the prizes that will show up on your spinner. Setting up your wheel is a snap. And feel free to change out your prizes anytime you’d like. You control what is revealed.

•Explain how the game works to your class. Help them understand that they can “Win-a-Spin” by showing strong and positive behavior or completing a tricky task.

•IMPORTANT – Do not choose your winner right away! Too many teachers are reactive when they reward students. Use this tool in a proactive way! Hold this “carrot” in front of the kiddos to motivate them to behave over a period of time. Remind the kids throughout that time span that “you are looking” for someone to “Win-a-Spin.” Also, take this chance to explain what kinds of specific behaviors you’ll be watching for. Kindness, self-control, responsibility, hard work and determination are just a few of the skills that you might encourage.

•Now you can choose your winner! Allow them to come up and spin the wheel of prizes. (Simply swipe the wheel with your finger to spin.) Round and round it goes! Where it stops? Nobody Knows!

•The kids will giggle with anticipation as you wait to see where the pointer lands. It will be one of the six prizes that you entered earlier. Reward the winner for their strong behavior. And remind the class WHY your winner was chosen. This step is important! Be explicit with your praise. Use this time to not only praise your winner, but also to teach the others about strong social emotional skills. The other students will hear this and be eager to exhibit those same behaviors in the future. They want to please you!

•Use the “Win-a-Spin” app again and again. If used properly, this tool will motivate your students to behave in class and at home.

•Note – You can play “Win-a-Spin” with a full class, small group or even individual students. This behavior management tool is also a great option parents. Feel free to explain how this app works to the parents of students in your classroom. They may be more likely to behave for you if their parents have promised them a spin when they bring home a good report from school.

A master teacher is one who understands how to motivate their students. “Win-a-Spin” will do just that for your kiddos. “Win-a-Spin” makes classroom management fun for the students and the teacher. Add this app to your teaching tool belt today!

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Heather S. credits this app for saving her life and sanity during state testing.

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