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Children's Reference

To move students towards information becoming effective users of information, introducing students to reference tools to locate information to fit a need is important. While information formats are changing, when working with young children, developmental needs continue to play a major role when considering what types and formats of reference sources are appropriate. 

Reference serves 2 purposes in a children's library. 

bulletTo support the personal information needs of children in a format that is appropriate for their readiness to use that information.
bulletTo support the academic information needs of children in a format that is appropriate for their readiness to use that information.

Reference and Academics

Today, many school districts are developing plans to standardize information and technology literacy standards across their curriculum and assess student achievements of those standards.  Part of those plans involves identifying reference tools and appropriate grade levels to introduce them to students.  Here are some suggestions that are suggested as a starting point to building these plans.

Introducing Print Reference Tools by Grade Level:

bullet1st Grade: Basic Dictionary Skills (alphabetical order)
bullet2nd Grade: Enhanced Dictionary Skills (alphabetic order, locating words, and spelling)
bullet3rd Grade: Encyclopedias 
bullet3rd Grade: Nonfiction Dewey Decimal System
bullet4th Grade: Atlas, Almanacs, and Encyclopedias

Introducing Electronic Reference Tools by Grade Level:

bullet2nd Grade: Introduce on-line catalog
bullet3rd Grade: On-line encyclopedias -- Grolier
bullet4th Grade: On-line encyclopedias - Grolier, New Book of Knowledge, and BadgerLink
bullet5th Grade: Keyword searches on the Web.

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