You have done your search in the Archive and you now have a list of results. If you have performed a keyword search or drill down listing you probably have a rather lengthy list of resources to sift through. Who has time for that?!? We know that a teacher’s time is precious so here are 5 Ways to Refine Your Search in the Archive:
1. Filter by grade level
A great thing about the Archive is that everything is tagged by grade level! If you want to only look at resources for your K-12 classroom, go to the top of the search results page and look for these boxes with check marks next to them: K U G I . Make sure only the check box to the left of K is selected and you will only see resources that are tagged for K-12 classroom use.
2. Check ratings
One of the many benefits of being in an online community like the Archive is that you can find out which resources other teachers find useful. Just look for the star rating to the right of the title of each resource. 5-stars means an item is highly recommended by a fellow teacher. Often, rated resources will also include comments; make sure to check those out! If you see an item without a star rating that just means that a fellow teacher hasn’t rated it yet. Maybe you could be the first?
3. Sort your results
For people like me who enjoy an extra bit of organization in their search results, there is the sorting feature. All you have to do is click on the title of a column to sort by that column. For example, you can click on “Partner” to sort your results by Archive Partner, or you can click on “Title/Author/Resource Type/Format” to organize results by title. Note that the Archive will automatically sort your search by “Rating.”
4. Do a search within a search
This tool is great if you have a lot of results, want to refine your search, but don’t want to start your search from scratch. It can be found two lines down from the top of the Search Results Page next to “Too much?” Just type in a word of your choosing and click on “Search within Results.” If you don’t like what you see, click on the blue “Go Back” button. To give you an example of how I use this tool, I will often start with a very basic keyword search, such as “diabetes” and then refine my search with something more specific, like “activity” or “game.” This gives me a lot of flexibility if I’m searching for a variety of materials around one topic.
5. Check out collections
Teacher-Recommended Collections are an amazing time saver if you’re looking for a lesson plan or activity to use in your classroom. The great thing about collections is that another teacher has already gone through the Archive, found materials, used them with their students, and has left notes for you! Talk about a time saver! To find these collections, click on one of the grey tabs to the right of the red “Resources” tab. To learn more about collections, go here: http://www.lifescitrc.org/help-submit.cfm#collections
As always, Happy Searching!