Thursday, December 10, 2015

Teaching the Online Catalog

We're all familiar with the quote, "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime." When it comes to catalog searching, this is entirely true! So when and how are you teaching your students to use your online catalog?

We begin our work in second grade when we talk about the different kinds of searching our catalog allows--keyword, title, author, subject, and series. We use task cards and work in both large and small groups to practice using the catalog. Not only are students using the catalog; they are also searching for books on the shelves and familiarizing themselves with spine labels. After much practice, students show their skills with an online catalog bingo card. (A few examples appear below.)

My colleague Christi Taylor (@ctator58) was helpful in planning my lessons, suggesting the task cards and offering handouts, including the catalog bingo card. Sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and Pinterest also offer a wide variety of resources related to this work. How and when are you teaching your students "to fish" the online catalog so they can become independent library users?