Spin City – The Easy Way to Make a Spinner!

the easy way to make a spinner

I have a lot of spinner activities in my TpT store that include the same directions:

Use a paper clip and pencil to spin.

It’s one of those things that is super-duper easy to do, but a little hard to explain – if you have never made your own spinner with a paper clip and a pencil, it might be a little confusing. So that’s why I was SUPER excited to see this little video pop up on my Instagram, courtesy of Emma from @thebusyclass! THANK YOU!

In the video below, you can see her sweet kiddos rocking their math spinning skills with a fun rounding game from my 3rd grade math centers pack.

Just click the play button to check it out!

Super easy, right?! Once upon a time, I used to attempt to fashion my own spinners using cardstock arrows and brads. Have you ever tried to flick a card stock arrow laying flush against the paper around a circle? It’s easier said then done. #teacherproblems So, needless to say, figuring out the ol’ paper clip and spinner trick was a real fist pump moment. Seriously. These are things I fist pump. #teacherlife I use a lot of spinner games in my interactive notebook activities, as well as in my 3rd grade math test prep centers.

I love using spinners with INBs for a couple of reasons. First, they can be used with pretty much anything and are a great way for students to review. Since the game is always in their notebooks, they can go back and play again at any time. They are a great antidote to the dreaded “I’m done, now what?” I also love using spinner games in my INBs because they are easily adaptable to become center games or small group activities (read more about that in this post). This is really useful for those times when you just don’t have the time – or the copy quota – to create a set for each individual student.

Paper clip & pencil spinner bonus: What used to be a boring worksheet? Now I can slap a spinner on that bad boy and make it interactive. BAM. Loooove it! I always keep a container stocked with paper clips so I can send spinner pages home as homework. I find the return rate on the homework is infinitely better when there’s a spinner involved. And even though a few paper clips inevitably go “missing”, it’s a lot easier to replace a paper clip than one of those annoying card stock arrows I used to laboriously cut out, laminate, and then curse because they didn’t even work anyway.  

You can check out some of my spinner games and activities by clicking on the links below.


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