The so-called design or idea books are notebooks that are applied in the classroom in order for each student to record their ideas, plans, designs, revisions, problems, solutions and questions about the project in question, which is usually related to some learning project in the classroom, such as healthy eating. This notebook, more popularly known as the “traveling book , helps both students and teachers plan, track, and evaluate project progress, as well as providing a record of what worked, what didn’t, as well as new ideas for the future.

The traveling books can also be used as a way to record what the students have learned, the process of working in groups and / or the general reflections that have been extracted around the project.


Materials to make a traveling book

  • Writing materials: pencils, pens, colored markers …
  • Basic notebooks, such as ring binders (which allow students to easily add brochures, printed brochures, and other documents to their book), spiral notebooks, simple binders, teacher-created notebook templates… etc. Students can also be tasked with creating the notebook creatively and of their own.
  • Design tools, such as ruler, paints, scissors, etc.


Steps to follow with a traveling book

Teachers should share examples of traveling books with the class at the beginning of the project. Sample idea notebooks or traveling books produced successfully by other schools or teachers can serve to provide concrete examples and creative designs for students. Teachers can also create and contribute to making an idea book or traveler of their own during the course.

In addition, teachers should discuss the role of these books with the class and give guidelines on how they can and should be used by students. Teachers should adapt the guidelines to the needs of the project and the class .

Some of the common guidelines in the preparation of a traveling book are the following:

  1. Explain during a class the work time that the book will require of each one and brainstorm ideas to open the mind and enhance the creativity of the students during the project.
  2. Take notes of new ideas and interesting suggestions proposed by the members of the class, as well as questions that arise at any time, so that the project does not stagnate and follow the desired rhythm, which will normally be a couple of days or three per student.
  3. Include in the traveling book or notebook concept maps, sketches, drawings, measurements, calculations … all depending on the theme of the chosen project.
  4. Keep all relevant information about the project in folders, so that they can be reviewed by students who have doubts or are stuck. They will only be consulted in cases of “true emergency”.
  5. Highlight or write down different information and sections for future elaborations of traveling books or to discuss the conclusions with other teachers and professors.
  6. Keep the book and the information about it always accessible, so that new ideas can be jotted down as they arise.


Other matters of interest

As an evaluation and monitoring tool that they are, traveling books can help teachers to obtain information on individual student learning and group processes, which are not often evident and therefore cannot always be observed in the classroom. own classroom. Of particular interest to teachers and their evaluations may be changes in the representations of each student’s project, from approximate or abstract ideas to more concrete and perfectionist designs.

The regular compilation of these idea books can also provide valuable opportunities for teachers to develop more complex relationships with their students, answering individual questions and concerns written in the books.

The material included in the book will vary according to the age of the students and the scope of the project, as well as the materials, which will range from worksheets or drawings to brochures or objects.

In short, traveling books are a perfect tool for evaluating and monitoring project-based learning , and they create an atmosphere of entertainment and relaxation that is ideal for students to develop their potential and all their creativity to the maximum.

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