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Developing Reading Skills Among Early Years and PYP Learners


Transitioning from an Early Years Programme (EYP) teacher to an IB librarian presented significant challenges, particularly in adapting to new curriculum structures and terminology. One of the most daunting aspects was facilitating online library classes during the pandemic, initially raising questions about feasibility. However, this sparked my inquiry cycle, prompting me to develop my research skills by reading blogs and attending professional development sessions. I quickly realized that the IB framework emphasizes collaboration, motivating me to enhance my knowledge and adapt to the demands of this new role.

Classroom Environment

Creating a conducive classroom environment is crucial for fostering a love of reading among students. Key elements include:

  • Phonological Awareness: Developing phonological awareness enhances children’s blending skills and confidence in reading.
  • Individual Confidence: Providing students with their reading space helps build their confidence during reading sessions.
  • Personalized Attention: Early readers require individual attention, especially in the beginning stages of learning to read.
  • Library Corner: Creating a designated library corner with various picture books enhances the classroom environment and encourages reading among students.

Pandemic Adaptations: Engaging Online Library Sessions

During the pandemic, my role involved:

  • Storytelling with Engagement: Narrating stories using puppets, PowerPoint presentations, and interactive picture prompts. Children participated eagerly, fostering curiosity and enjoyment.
  • Read Aloud Sessions: Conducting read-aloud sessions where children eagerly awaited their turn to read aloud. I supported students with reading difficulties by providing individual attention and encouragement.
  • Engaging Activities: Assigning creative activities at the end of each story excited and involved the children, keeping them enthusiastic and actively participating in the learning process.

Creating a Culture of Curiosity and Reading Enthusiasm

Our school library, thanks to our open-door policy and innovative approaches, has become a hub of excitement and curiosity. Key strategies include:

  • Comfy Environment: Ensuring the library has cozy corners with mats and comfortable chairs where children can sit and read without distractions.
  • Diverse Reading Materials: Offering a wide variety of books covering different genres, subjects, and reading levels to cater to all interests and abilities. Organizing scavenger hunts helps children develop their research skills.
  • Reading Workshops or Storytime Sessions: Organizing storytime sessions with staff or parent volunteers, fostering a love for reading and improving listening skills.
  • Reading Incentives: Implementing reading challenges or incentive programs where children can earn rewards for reaching reading milestones.
  • Peer Reading Groups: Facilitating peer reading groups where children can read together, discuss books, and share their thoughts and opinions.
  • Reading Comprehension Activities: Engaging children in activities that focus on improving reading comprehension skills.
  • Incorporating Technology: Integrating technology into reading activities appeals to tech-savvy children and makes reading more interactive and engaging.
  • Modeling Good Reading Habits: Setting a positive example by reading aloud during circle time and openly discussing books I enjoy.

Innovative Approaches: Guided Drawing and Author Visits

  • Guided Drawing: This is a valuable tool for children’s development, offering cognitive, emotional, social, and educational benefits. By providing structured guidance and encouraging creative expression, guided drawing helps children build essential skills and confidence.
  • Author Visits: Organizing author visits can inspire children by allowing them to meet and interact with authors, gaining valuable insights and sparking their interest in reading or writing.

Offering Reading Support and Celebrating Achievements

  • Reading Support: Providing support for struggling readers by offering one-on-one reading sessions tailored to each child’s individual needs.
  • Celebrating Achievements: Recognizing children’s reading achievements motivates them to continue reading and striving for success.

Huddle Time and Collaborative Reading

Our Huddle Time sessions are a highlight of the library experience. We take turns reading aloud, and students love sharing their thoughts and insights. Collaborating with teachers to create grade-wise activities, such as storytelling and role-playing, encourages creativity, critical thinking, and self-expression.

To sum up my experience as a librarian, my goal is to continue to create an engaging and inclusive environment that fosters a love of reading and learning. By sharing my experiences, I hope to inspire new librarians to adopt innovative approaches and create a culture of curiosity and reading enthusiasm in their schools.


by Madhuri B

Teacher librarian/ Early year Teacher

One World International School


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