The idea of “Heads Up” is not a new one. Anyone familiar with “Celebrity Heads” knows the general idea. Player One chooses a subject, (eg. emotion), and the holds their device in front of their forehead and the app shows words related to that subject, such as “sad”, or “happy”. The other players have to provide clues to help Player One guess what word is displayed on the screen. If they guess correctly, the tilt their device down and get a point, if they guess incorrectly or don’t know the answer they tilt their device up and move onto the next word.
Recently a teacher I am coaching wanted an engaging way for her students to practice communicating their understanding of the features of 2D shapes. “Heads Up” jumped out at me as the perfect way to do this.
The teacher already owned the app, so she simply had to purchase the “create your own deck” deck of cards and then she was off and running. She simply wrote the names of the 2D shapes they had looked at in class, on each card, and then proceeded to play the game. She placed her iPhone on her forehead and the names of the shapes appeared on the screen. Her students had to call out the features of each shape to help her teacher guess the shape. Mirroring the app to her Apple TV meant that every child could see the flashcards, without having to stand, move etc.
Where I believe “Heads Up” improves upon the original “Celebrity Heads” is that it videos the students giving clues, in this case, giving the features of 2D shapes. This gives teachers the opportunity to review the students calling out the features of the shapes, and it lets the students also watch the video and see which clues were the ones that helped the teacher guess the shape.
Other teachers, having seen the success and engagement have also begun using the app in class. Some of the ways they have been using it are to help with inferring, to reinforce Inquiry specific vocabulary and to practice Mandarin.
Have you used “Heads Up” in your classroom? If so, I’d love to hear how in the comments below?