There is nothing like dollar store inspiration.  Last night, I found pinwheels at Dollar Tree.
  I kept looking at them, thinking, "I know I can do something with that."  So, this morning I wrote questions on each section to use after reading a fiction story. 

After we read our story from our basal today, I picked up my pinwheel and spun it.  Then, I stopped it by grabbing a section.  I asked the students the question that I grabbed.  They loved this!  I think these could be used for a number of things.  I also thought I could pull off the handle and use it as a game spinner.  There is even a groove that would fit a paper clip so it would be perfect for a game.

I would LOVE to hear any other ideas for using these.
Also, don't forget to enter to win my April Reading Supplement Packet.  I will be announcing a winner tomorrow night! 


  1. In kindergarten I do a lot silly things to help them remember to spell sight words...counting by 5s...etc. I have them say/sing/spell/count in funny voices so the repetition doesn't seem so boring. They could spin to see what voice to use that day: opera singer, whisper, scary monster, etc.

    We have our wind unit coming up so I'll definitely be using this. Thanks for sharing! :)

  2. OooH!! I LIKE!!! A couple ideas popped into my head:

    1) Tape a word family ending on the center and write initial sounds or digraphs on the spinner... spin.. read.. and write. Could be an awesome Word Work station

    2) Write a number on each panel... use for SO many things for example counting on. Let's say they land on 42 then they have to count until they get to the next decade.

    3) Sight Words: spin and graph activity

    4) I do Daily5 and Cafe so you could put the beanie baby reading strategies on a card. So if a student in your reading group gets stuck on a card, let them spin and see if the strategy they land on works!

    Oh gosh I could keep going and going... looks like I'm going to the Dollar Tree! Thanks for the idea!

  3. Woah! Hello typos! Sorry about that. I meant to say "beanie baby reading strategies on a panel.." and then "gets stuck on a word"

  4. i just saw these the other day -- thanks for the idea.

  5. I love this idea!!! I'm always inspired by Dollar Tree goodies....wait until you see the little bunnies I bought for a math center...too cute!!! I'll post soon:)

    Craxy for First Grade

  6. Thank you! I actually saw these yesterday and LOVED the colors on them, but had no idea what they could be used for.

  7. Writing on them is a great idea- I don't think I wouldn't thought of that!
    Darn, I guess I have to go to Dollar Tree now!
    F is For First Grade

  8. @Kristen - Great idea! I was thinking of something along this line too. I was trying to think of six things to do while doing our read aloud for our weekly story. For example, 1. Choral reading 2. Repeat after me reading 3. Popcorn reading, ...

    @Shannon - LOVE all these ideas. I'm going to have to go buy some more now ;)

  9. You guys are all so smart. What great ideas! I'm going to have to take a road trip!

    Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

  10. Cute idea! You can also use them for higher level questions. I have a post on my blog called challenging minds where students respond to these type of prompts. There's a link to my TpT page where you can download examples for free.

    First Grade Factory

  11. Umm....amazing idea! WOW! I am so exited! Going to get some :)

    Please visit my new blog @

  12. i used clear labels and printed out spelling words. we we're doing words that began with /ch/, so i put /ch/ in middle of flower and the end of the words on petals. they would spin the flower, combine the /ch/ plus word ending and write it on their paper, titled Flower Power! the labels
    peel write up!

  13. What a GREAT idea! Love it Jodi!!! i will definitely be using that one.

  14. OMG just saw those today at the dollar tree! HAVE to go back tomorrow and get some!

  15. Found a double pinwheel in the summer clearance section. Wouldn't have bought it except I remembered seeing your post. It should work great for add/sub!!! Thanks for the idea!

  16. OK, so there are SIX petals and SIX pillars of character - perfect! So I see myself writing a pillar on each of the petals to match the colors - yellow for respect, orange for fairness, etc. (Citizenship purple will have to be one of the shades of blue) and let kids stop the wheel as it spins and give an example of that character trait in action. Ooooo, what a fun thing that'd be during transition time.

  17. Just saw your post on pinwheels! I just posted about pinwheels on Sunday. I used them with chunks and beginning sounds. I love your idea too and am following you!
    Conversations in Literacy


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