Add a Little Spice to Your Classroom

July 17, 2022 No Comments

Last post, I talked all about my favorite Amazon purchases. These were items that I use on the regular in my classroom. Today, I am going to chat a little about some “nice to have” items. These are by no means items that you NEED to have in your classroom. But if you are looking to add some new items to shake it up here you go!

Spinning Wheel

I don’t know what it is about a spinning wheel, but my students always get so excited when I bring out the spinning wheel. Sometimes I put questions on each color of the spinning wheel and let students spin the wheel. Two of my favorite types of questions are constructed responses about a text and they write a RACES (restate, answer, cite evidence, explain & elaborate, sum it up) response or I put a theme on it and they have to write a short story.

Another way I use it is to put different prizes on it and they spin to find out what prize they get. Some sample prizes might be: wear a hat, walk around the school, no homework, lunch in the classroom or chew gum for a period.

Both ways to use the spinning wheel are fun and engaging!


Anytime I can turn something into a game, I will do it. I love games and so do my students. I find my students are instantly engaged and excited about the assignment. These buzzers turn a regular game up a notch. Who doesn’t love pushing a buzzer? They get so excited when it is their turn. I use one per table group or pair, but if you really want you could get one per person!

Prize Drop

Sometimes to turn a rather boring assignment interesting, I will add in a prize drop. I used this a lot especially at the end of the year to keep students interested in the task at hand. After students answer a certain amount of questions, I let them come up to the prize drop. I have a few different prizes as options. These usually include: homework pass, prize box, sit wherever you want for a period and 10 minutes of free Chromebook time. I didn’t get this until the third trimester last year. I can’t wait to find new ways to use this.

Jumbo Playing Cards

When I pulled out these jumbo playing cards for the first time, my students faces LIT up! They were so excited. It was as if they had never seen anything like this.

Carnival Games Set

I love the carnival and apparently so do my students. I used this carnival set in a variety of ways. One way was I set up a relay style game and at the end they had to throw rings on the cones and we saw who got the most.

Another game was as students answered questions right, they threw a coin. Hidden under every cone was a set amount of points. At the end students added up their points.

So tell me…what items do you use in your classroom that are nice to have but not necessary?

Jennifer Marchione

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My name is Jen! I am a wife, girl mom and teacher. I love creating engaging ELA lessons that make my students excited about reading and writing. More