Literacy Team

Parkway Elementary is dedicated to improving student achievement in reading and writing for lifelong learning through a balanced literacy approach.


  • Develop and implement professional development aligned with county and state standards, assessments, and instructional practices.
  • Promote and disseminate scientifically based research in the area of literacy.
  • Advocate and implement researched based “best practices” through a balanced literacy approach.
  • Collaborate with families and the larger community to improve student achievement.

In recent years, Parkway Elementary has implemented a comprehensive plan for school wide change with a focus on high-quality professional development. All of the teachers at Parkway receive ongoing staff development focusing on the improvement of instruction. Using scientifically based teaching methods, assessments that inform teaching and ensure accountability, an integrated curriculum, and increased parental involvement has improved student achievement. As FCPS curriculum evolves, the staff at Parkway continues to align best practices with curricular changes

Best practices are chosen based on the level of gradual release needed in order to support student learning. Gradual release involves explicit instruction, guided practice and independent application.

  • Read Aloud
  • Independent Reading
  • Shared Reading
  • Interactive Writing
  • Guided Reading
  • Interactive Editing
  • Reciprocal Teaching
  • Independent Writing
  • Book Clubs
  • Oral Presentation


Read Aloud exposes students to the language and form of books and allows them to appreciate the pleasure that comes from reading without having to concentrate on the mechanics of decoding the printed word. Read Aloud provides the opportunity for teachers to model skills and strategies used by proficient readers. Students listen, think, and interact in a supportive environment, which allows them to participate, as they are able.

Shared Reading replicates the experience of storybook reading. The teacher leads the students in reading together, making appropriate text(s) accessible, while providing instruction on specific skills and expanding their understanding of literacy.

Guided Reading requires students to assume more responsibility as they practice what has been taught in read aloud and shared reading. The teacher introduces the text and observes students as they read orally, think, and question their way through the text. The teacher assists the students in problem solving as they strategically process a variety of text.
Reciprocal Teaching helps students monitor and increase their comprehension as they use the four strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning, and summarizing.
Book Clubs help develop deeper comprehension and overall enjoyment of reading for fluent readers. Teachers monitor progress as students discuss concepts, clarify points, and extend their thinking.

Independent Reading allows students to assume responsibility for reading self-selected text at their independent level from a collection of appropriate books. The teacher observes individual students’ reading and problem solving behaviors.

Interactive Writing is collaboration between teacher and class to construct text through the process of negotiation. Teacher and students share in the writing of the text, allowing for differentiation through content, process, and product.
Interactive Editing is a teaching method that emphasizes the connection between reading and writing. Teacher and students collaborate to edit familiar, error-free text to learn how good writing is constructed in form, style, and vocabulary, and how these elements can be used in students’ writing. Interactive Editing is also an effective way to foster comprehension, especially of informational text, through paraphrasing, summarizing, or changing genres.

Independent Writing provides students an opportunity to communicate their thoughts through the application of writing conventions they have learned in large and small group instruction. Through conferencing, the teacher observes individual students’ writing to determine future instructional implications.

Oral Presentation teaches the art of communication beginning with awareness of oral language. Students learn to consider their audience to effectively communicate their intended message. Oral presentations can include plays, projects, and reports.