Have you ever seen movie review shows on TV? You know, the ones
where the person that saw the movie is telling you all about it and
giving their opinion on whether you should go see it or not? Well now
it's your turn to be the reviewer but you're not going to review
movies, you're going to review your Summer
Our Summer Reading Reviews
What is this you ask? It's something called a Voice Thread. And,
what's a Voice Thread? Well, that's a little hard to explain. It's an
online album with pictures or video, etc. but it's not just an album
because you can comment on any of the "slides" in the album
in different ways: Using your voice (if you have a microphone or you
can even use your phone), using video with a webcam, using text by
typing in your comment and more. If you want to see an example, you
can head over to http://voicethread.com/share/409/
and watch a VoiceThread that's all about what a VoiceThreads.
Before You Start
First stop and get a parent or guardian! If you are
under 13 years old, your parent or guardian has to set up the
VoiceThread account in Step 2 below. If you are 13 or older, please
get permission before you set up an account on your own! So make sure
you have permission before you do anything!!
Step 1 - Create or Find an Avatar
Once you set up your VoiceThread account you can use a picture of
some kind to identify yourself. Some people use actual pictures of
themselves but for safety reasons I would not recommend that you do
that. It is fun to have a picture or some kind though so here are some
ideas you can use to create an avatar (that's a graphic representation
Use Paint or some other graphics program on your computer and
draw a self portrait. The avatars on VoiceThread are square so
keep that in mind when you are creating yours. When you save, set
the file type to JPG (or JPEG). Something you draw yourself is
always the BEST!
Visit one of these sites and create an Avatar:
- Cute site from New York Zoos & Aquarium. When you finish
building your Wild Self, click on I'm Done and then on Print
Your Wild Self. Then right-click on the picture (I believe
it's CTRL Click on a Mac) and save the picture to your hard
drive. You probably want to give it a name other than the
default one it will show.
Press the Print Screen button (on the upper right hand
side of your keyboard). This won't look like it did
anything but it did.
Open Paint and do an Edit and then a Paste. This will
paste an image of your whole desktop into Paint.
Use the Rectangle Selector and select what you want to
keep and then do Image and then Crop.
Save this and don't forget to set the file type to JPG
- Dudes & Dollz. Click on either the Dude or the Dollz and
build a virtual you. When you are done, click on the Click
HERE to Download! button. Select a size in the drop down -
640x480 is plenty big enough for VoiceThread but if you want
to use this as wallpaper or for something else, you can
download a bigger size.
So now you should have an avatar! Time to get your parent or
guardian if you're under 13 or to make sure you've asked permission if
you're 13 or older.
Step 2 - Set Up A Voice Thread Account
Okay, is your parent or guardian here or do you have permission to
set up a VoiceThread account? If the answer is yes:
You can register by clicking on the Sign In or Register square
on the bottom of the VoiceThread above but that will make it
difficult to read these directions so go to http://voicethread.com/
(this will open in a new window so you can switch back and forth
to set up the account) and click on Sign In or Register on
the upper right of the screen.
A small window will pop up and at the bottom it will say Not
registered yet? Register!
- click on the word Register.
The register window will pop up and you need to enter:
Name - Okay, remember what we learned about using
your full name on the Internet? For safety reasons you
probably don't want to use your real name here - especially
your full name. So what can you do?
You could make up a name. Do you have a screen name you
use on other sites? You could use that here as long as it
follows Internet Safety rules.
You could use your parent or guardian's name if they
You could use just your first name if that is okay with
your parent or guardian - do not use your name without
permission from your parent or guardian.
You could set up an account that will let us at St.
Martin's know who you are but not the rest of the world.
How you ask? Set up something like: StM+Grade+Initials so
if you were John Doe going in to 4th Grade, your name
would be StM4JD.
Email - This has to be a valid email in case you
forget your password or in case you need to be notified of
something. If you are under 13 this should be your parent or
guardian's email. You will have to enter the email address
twice to make sure you entered it correctly.
Password - Make up a password that is easy for you to
remember but not easy for others to guess. And don't forget,
don't share your passwords with anyone other than your parents
or guardians. You will have to enter your password twice to
make sure you entered it correctly.
Click on the Register button.
Now you are registered but you have another small window and
that one is asking you to add a picture. This is where you will
add your avatar:
Click on Upload It and you'll get a window to find your
Find your picture on your hard drive and double click it to
Move or resize the cropping tool until you have an avatar
that you like and then click on the Save button.
Congratulations you now have a VoiceThread account set up and
you're ready to comment!
Step 3 - Adding Your Review
If it's easier for you, you can open our Summer
Reading Reviews in another window rather than trying to comment on
the VoiceThread above. Before you add your review you should think
about what it's going to be. Here are some things to think about and
maybe even write down or type before you add your review:
Did you like the book you read?
Why did you like it or why didn't you like it?
Do you think other kids your age would like it? Why or why not?
What was your favorite part of the book?
Was there anything you didn't like about the book?
If you were the author would you have changed the ending? Why or
Okay so now you know what you want to say, so how do you say it?
Make sure you are signed in to VoiceThread and you should be
unless you specifically signed out. If you aren't signed in then
click on the Sign In or Register square on the bottom of the
VoiceThread and enter the email address and password you set up.
Now use the big arrow keys under the picture to find the slide
for your book.
Click on the comment button and then select how you want to
If you have a microphone hooked up to your computer, you can
click on the record button and actually use your voice to add
your review. You might be asked if it's okay to use the
microphone - be sure to okay that or your microphone won't
work. After you're done with your review be sure to click on
the save button.
If you don't have a microphone, click on the text button and
then type in your review. This is where it could be helpful to
have typed your review up before because then you can just
copy and paste it here. When you're done, click on the save
You can see or listen to your review by clicking on your
avatar. If you want to redo it, you can click on the trash can
and it will delete your review and you can re-record or
That's it! Your review is now complete. Note: All reviews will have
to be approved before they can be seen and/or heard by other people.
You will be able to see all approved reviews and your review even if
it's not approved yet but your friends won't see or hear yours until I