Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pay it forward with the 10 Picture Tour

This blog post is dedicated to Cale Birk, an administrator who writes a blog called "The Learning Nation". He in turn discovered this idea from Brian Barry, whom I believe is @Nunavut_teacher on Twitter (please correct me if I am wrong).

With the 10 Picture Tour, Cale challenged his readers to quickly take 10 photos of the school and provide a brief caption for each to show people what's noteworthy about their school. Here were my ten. Just to be on the safe side, I didn't include any children or teachers in the photos, though I did take some.

This is the hallway that connects our kindergarten area, gym, lunchroom, and main office. We have been putting up more bulletin boards in the hall so we can share student work easier. You'll see a glimpse of some student art in a different shot.

This was me working on three computers at once in one of those rare times that the main computer lab's free. On the desktop PC, I was trying to upload videos of the grade 3-4s telling their stories to the newest school blog. On my personal laptop, I was trying to complete my lesson plans using TuLiP (Teacher-Librarian Planner, a wonderful FileMaker Pro program created by some folks in our board), and on the Mac, I was adding the book trailer rubric to the intermediate division wiki. Multitasking anyone?

This is my office. Unlike the last photo, which I staged slightly, this is what my library office usually looks like. You'll note the abundance of Twilight related items. That's because 1) I'm a huge Twilight fan and 2) my husband won't let me put that stuff up in our house so I plaster it all over the walls of my office.

This is just one bulletin board display of art. This one is located in the upper hallway, where our intermediate students spend a lot of their time. Our students are amazing artists. This is just a small sample of what they can do.

I am a teacher-librarian at my school, so naturally, I had to take a photo of the library. Usually it's full to exploding with students, but I took this shot when no one was around, early in the day. The room has a funny zig-zag shape. The favorite spots include the "cozy corner" of couches near the suit of armor (Sir Bob lives at our library thanks to a presenter who has no room at her house) and the mini lab of iMacs we won when we came in 2nd place in the Best Buy Best in Class Fund contest. I also love my SMART Board!

This is a picture of Max, our school skinny pig, in his nice, recently-cleaned cage. Max is much adored at our school. He is very vocal and purrs like a cat, but without the pesky fur allergies.

This is pretty neat. One of our kindergarten teachers actually built this light table himself for his class! The surface illuminates so that student scientists could examine their specimens clearly.

This is a display (I made) in our computer lab. Our students are very adept at using technology but lessons still need to be taught in digital citizenship. I developed this acronym in an article I co-wrote with another teacher for "The Teaching Librarian" magazine (Volume 14 Issue 3). It attempts to remind people that copyright/plagiarism applies to images too. The acronym stands for:
I = inform yourself and others of copyright law
M = make lists of appropriate image sites
A = ask permission of original owner
G = get creative
E = explain where and how visuals used are found

This is a shot of the windows to our main office. Our grade 6 boys basketball team made it all the way to the city championships and won second place. They had an amazing season!

I took a close-up of a bulletin board display from the lab, so I had to do one for the library. I like to explain things in terms of metaphors and analogies.

I'm not sure how much these photos tell about my school vs me and what I consider the most important there. Thank you Cale and Brian for a great idea. It's a great exercise for anyone to conduct, with or without a blog.


  1. that cage is way to small for that guinea pig!! so small its heartbreaking. he needs much more room

  2. Hi Laura Louise,
    I'm sorry you feel that the cage is too small. I was told by several people I consider knowledgeable that this was an adequate size. However, you'll be happy to know that he received a lot of time to run around in the library, outside his cage.