While only 3 years since I was last in a classroom full-time, it's easy -- sadly so -- to forget the tiny moments that often help to make or break a class, or at least shift the center of gravity.
One of them is "the hat of random names" (thanks goes to Ewan McIntosh for this reminder...and the digital link/shift forward).
What's "the hat"? Well, it has to do with that moment when you have a classroom of kids all ready to present something -- formal or spontaneous matters little -- and you want to mix up the order, want to make sure that every kid has a chance to go first, middle or last.
Can't even begin to imagine how many times I spent 5 minutes ripping up pieces of paper, writing down each kid's name, and putting them in something. Sometimes a hat. Then picked the paper crumples one by one, calling the 'lucky' kid up to the front to share their wisdom/imagination. Even if the kids did it, you still spent 5+ minutes organizing the mini-event. All just to have a schedule.
Well, the technology fairies have apparently made this a one-time-set-up moment.
Download "the Hat". Add all the kids in each class placed into the play-list. Hit shuffle or play or go or whatever the nudge is. And presto-presto, a randomly assigned list. Every time. Every. Time!