George Lucas Educational Foundation

STEM Lab / Project Journals for Students

STEM Lab / Project Journals for Students

Related Tags: Community Bulletin Board
More Related Discussions
PrintPrint
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Share

Hi, anyone out there have a great solution for lab journals and notebooks?

Yes, a three-ring binder would do, but I am envisioning something more special, more personalizable, more memorable. More important.

I'd like kids to be able to have a section where they can doodle, a section where finished projects would go, a section for other cool printed things could be kept, a section for draft work, etc. but in something more ... personal, important, private. Something kids would be invested in maintaining, and, possibly, keep from year to year (I will have them for four years: 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th). I would love to see them using it outside of school. So much more than a "notebook" as you can see.

Suggestions welcome!

-kj-


This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

Comments (12) Sign in or register to comment Follow Subscribe to comments via RSS

Evy Roy's picture
Evy Roy
Former Community and Social Media Intern at Edutopia

Kevin, If I were in your class, I think I'd jump at the chance to make something so creative and durable that I would use often. I'd recommend a notebook with a cover that could be easily changed. When I was a kid, I loved making collages of my favorite things, but my interests changed so frequently. It could be fun to swap in a new cover each year to keep things fun and fresh! The old covers could also remind your kiddos what they liked when they were younger! I'm a sucker for some great nostalgia. :)

(1)
John S. Thomas's picture
John S. Thomas
First & Second Grade Teacher/Adjunct faculty Antioch University New England, former Elementary Principal

Evy, that reminds me of the writers notebooks my students make each year. The cover of the notebook is a collage of their interests. Then we use those pictures as seeds for the writing activities and projects we do each year.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Teaching Middle School 'Technology, Engineering & Design' in Northfield, NJ

Thanks Evy and John! Love the idea. Do you think a small three ring binder would work? Like this?

http://www.binders.com/small-clearview-binders/

Reason being, I want their journal to be special, different, easily located among the mass of stuff in their bookbag and locker. The smaller format would make adding pages difficult, though. What do you think?

-kj-

Evy Roy's picture
Evy Roy
Former Community and Social Media Intern at Edutopia

Kevin,

What about this? http://www.fivestardirect.us/fivestar/browse/product/29104?&utm_source=m...
It's a "flex binder," meaning it's got lined paper but you can add any 3-hole-punched handouts to it. The kids could decorate the front and add in handouts/labs/homework right next to their notes. I like to order things in chronological order, so this binder works for me especially, but it can be organized to suit kids' (and your) preferences.

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Teaching Middle School 'Technology, Engineering & Design' in Northfield, NJ

Thanks Evy! Checking it out now. Love the size and flexibility, if only the cover could be customized more easily. Think I need to get to an office supply store and have a look around. The Back to School sales will be starting soon enough...haha

Seriously, I appreciate the find - if you come across any more, please share!

-kj-

Kristina's picture

How did it work out for you. We have one we designed and use successfully. It has open spaces for imagining and planning. The kids love it because its so simple!

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Teaching Middle School 'Technology, Engineering & Design' in Northfield, NJ

Hi Kristina! Not so well, actually. Long story, needs a blog post. Tell me more about the one you designed. Do you have any pictures? Thanks!

Kristina's picture

I do not know how to share pictures on here.... but we use the engineering design process. So the page starts with the students asking themselves a question. Then there is a large space to Plan/Imagine. We do a STEAM program so we encourage the kids to draw. They label their drawing with lengths and notes that they need... then they create (that's not in the notebook)... then they check a box that says did they or did they not improve... if they didn't improve then they turn the page and ask a new question (i.e. "how do I make the base of the structure stronger?"). The process goes around and around until they feel like they are successful or until the project time is over. We went to officemax and printed it into a booklet for them with a table of contents.... we were talking about printing it and making it available to the masses... but just talking :)

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
Teaching Middle School 'Technology, Engineering & Design' in Northfield, NJ

Kristina that sounds terrific! If you could email pics to kjarrett@ncs-nj.org I'd love to see them! Our journals were one of the low points for us last year - I wasn't happy with how I implemented them and am looking for new ideas. This could help substantially! Appreciate any help!

Sign in to comment. Not a member? Register.