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Thursday, September 24, 2015

E is for Epic! (app)

So this was a conversation my sis and I had. She is new to teaching kindergarten. She seems to find all the things the cool teachers use. So of course I have to use it.


Yeah, my "never heard of it" was really "ugh! I don't have time to look at one more thing right now I'm trying to figure out how to make these stinking margins stop changing on Google Drive so leave me alone before I throw this computer across the room" but don't tell her that...

Maybe I really missed the boat on this and everyone knows about this app but me. It says it's been around since 2013. Maybe the free part is new? I don't know. But I am all over it now!

If you haven't heard of the Epic! app, read on...

If you have, then why the heck didn't you tell me about it sooner?!  What if my sister had never became a teacher and had never found it in order to show me? =)

So Epic! is an app that is free for educators, but also available for parents to purchase.

 You sign up and then can set up a class.

I set up my Pipsqueak cause she was sitting on the couch next to me. So now we can use it on my computer, my phone, and her iPad. Yeah. Super cool.

I think I'll use their Xtra Math pins as their pins for this, too. 

As soon as she logged in it had her choose her favorite kinds of books. Of course she picked them all! She's not a kid who reads for fun, but does get hooked by good books. We started browsing right away and I was amazed at all of the high-interest, current books they have! Scaredy Squirrel, First Day Jitters, Memoirs of a Hamster, several Big Nate, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain, and tons more.

I love the search feature because we typed in "rabbits" and we got both fiction and nonfiction choices. 

Pipsqueak started "ooh-ing" and "ahh-ing" over all the choices like it was a candy store. She kept saying she was earning all of these badges and unlocking more books. She was having such a blast.

On my teacher end, I could see how many books she had read and how much time she had spent reading. It will even show a book list of the types of books she's choosing. 

My brain started to think of how much my students are going to love this. And how much parents might love it. (They include a parent flyer in the resources section.) It certainly had the fourth grader next to me hooked. And who doesn't love seeing a kid asking to read more?  I can see kids begging to use the iPads during Read to Self time. We can even project under the document camera to view a book as a whole class.

I'm excited and I wanted to share in case there are other people like me who didn't know about this great freebie! Check it out.

Here is a quick video that sums it all up.

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