Heads Up App in the classroom!!!

Who doesn't love Ellen Degeneres?!?!? Well, we started using the Heads Up! app in our classroom a couple weeks ago, and it has been nothing short of a hit!!! The kids LOVE it as do I! The greatest part about this app is that you can CUSTOMIZE it with your very OWN deck!! So let me show you how it works!!
First of all, it does cost $0.99 PLUS another $0.99 to buy the BLANK DECK so you can customize it!

Once you click on the downloaded app, you can PULL DOWN on the screen (put your finger on the screen and swipe down) to actually learn "How to Play." It is a video that will go through the steps to play, or keep reading this post! :)

Next, you can buy the "Build Your Own Deck" so that you can CUSTOMIZE it!! ***It is $0.99 more to do this, though. However, you can keep customizing that ONE deck all you want without paying anymore. If you want to save that deck for longer and want another one, THEN you have to buy another Build Your Own Deck for $0.99. I will probably only buy 2 or 3 Build Your Own Desks and change them up whenever I want to. I want to have one designated for vocabulary and one for math. Also, when you buy Build Your Own Decks, the decks will sync to other devices using the same Apple ID, but they will not have your information already there. You will have to customize the decks again which could add those extra decks you would want without adding cost. Then, you would designate specific devices for certain decks. These are just some ideas! :) Just know, you don't HAVE to keep buying decks if you just change up the cards in the decks. It's up to you! 
Third, it's time to CUSTOMIZE!!! Here are some screen shots and directions!!
Once you've bought the customizable deck, it will move into the playable deck area. Click on it, and press CUSTOMIZE!!
Once you press CUSTOMIZE, you can type in a title in the spot I have "Vocabulary Words." Then, you can add a subtitle in the bigger, middle box. When you have a title you want, click EDIT YOUR CARDS. 
The screenshots above show how you will add YOUR CARDS and what the list will look like. Simply click in the space where I have typed "Add Here" and your own words, numbers, etc. The options are really limitless!! I plan on using this for fact practice as well!! For example, put the number 10 in the list. When the student holding the device is up, the other kids would have to say facts that make 10 so the student can guess the number!

Right now, we are using it for vocabulary in our vocabulary reading rotation. They have an activity to complete first, and then they can take the iPhone out and play Heads Up! They know they have to move to a spot where no other kids are, AND they have to stay at a voice level of a 1 or 2. We practiced the voice level a lot first! :) They do GREAT with it!! I don't hear it at all in my small group!!
 Above you can see what the screen will look like. They have 60 seconds to get as many correct as possible. If the student doesn't know it, they can lift the device up pointing to the ceiling to PASS. If they get it right, which the other kids will DEFINITELY let them know :), they flip the device down which will show CORRECT with a sound. When time is up, the buzzer will go off, and the screen will show them all of the words from the list they got right and which they got wrong!
AND...the app TAPES the participants acting/shouting/dancing/etc.!!!! When it's over, they can WATCH themselves!! It's awesome!!!! You can save/share the video as well!!
Now, it's time to PLAY!!!!!
Here's the view of the actors acting out to the student holding the device!!! I wish I could show their faces because they are PRICELESS!!!!!!
Here's another view!! We create gestures together for each of our vocabulary words so this is what you are seeing with their arms!! :) We played this at our Fall Party!! They were begging to play and with VOCABULARY WORDS!!! Can't get better than that!! Fun AND educational!!

I would LOVE to know if you already use this app in your classroom and how, AND/OR how it goes if you do try it!!!!! Ellen Degeneres is amazing!!!!

Thanks for stopping by!!!


  1. This looks like so much fun!! Thank you for sharing! I can't wait to try it in my classroom!! :)

    1. Yay!!! You are so welcome!! I'm so glad you found it helpful!! This is the first year I can honestly say that my students are really internalizing the vocabulary!! :) I can't wait to try it with math too! Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!!!

      Nicole :)

  2. Looks like fun! Will need to check it out. (So, each set of words will cost an additional 99¢?)

    1. Hi Suzy!! You can buy one Build a Deck and just keep changing it as you use it. Otherwise, if you want to save each deck, you would buy a new Build a Deck for $0.99 each time. I'm only going to buy maybe 3 so I can have one for reading, one for math, and one for vocabulary that I can just keep changing. If you have more than one device, the information on each deck won't automatically sync, but that also means you could have various decks on different devices. It will sync the purchases, though, of the decks! Hopefully, that makes sense! Let me know if you have any other questions!! :)

      Thanks so much for stopping by!
      Nicole :)

  3. Hi Nicole, just came across your post, thinking of using a customized Heads Up deck for a corporate meeting. You mentioned something about syncing the deck to other devices — they all need the same Apple ID? Do you know if there's any other way to do it? Our meeting will have 1800 people ... have to figure out a way to get the same decks on a large number of devices.

    Thanks for posting this!!!


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  5. Hello Nicole,
    I'm a senior at Kent State University studying middle childhood education. I was actually discussing using Heads Up in the classroom with one of my professors. We were talking about how great it would be if we could create our own decks. I looked on my phone, but I can't find an option that allows me to build my own deck. I have Heads Up on my Android phone. Do you know if this option is available on Android?

  6. same question as above. trying to download it again at the moment and look for other options

  7. I am looking into the Charades! app to see how many decks they allow. This might be an alternative since it is free

  8. Once I purchase the customizable deck and create it, can I share with other who own the same app?

  9. If using this in a classroom with students who have both android and iPhones how do you sync so all can play it perform an activity


I always LOVE to hear from other teachers and bloggers so thank you so much for taking the time to comment!! It's so exciting to meet new people who share in your passion!