Read. Write. Science!

from the desk of Jodi Wheeler-Toppen

Three Great Things to Know:

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Title 1 Parent Involvement Literacy Nights

My children attend a small Title 1 elementary school that we love. Recently, I was there for a parent involvement night. One of the hardest parts of planning these nights is attendance. If the evening sounds too academic ("Reading Comprehension Strategies for Your Child"), parents don't come--especially if they had bad experiences in school themselves. If the evening is too focused on fun ("Pizza and a bouncehouse!"), you wonder if it was really worth it.

I've realized that with my science and reading education background, I can offer a third way. Starting in the fall, I will be offering a parent involvement literacy night that has parents and children interacting around cool science texts, trying out reading strategies in a relaxed and fun atmosphere, with great science activities mixed in. I'll throw in 2-3 free presentations (basically, a free author visit) for the school that day--and each presentation will end with a cliffhanger that will make students want to bring their parents back at night.

I'm just kicking this program off, so if you'd like your school to try it out (at a reduced rate), contact me!

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Where to Find Me as the School Year Wraps Up

May 2: Greystone Elementary School; Hoover, AL, Author Visit

May 21-22: Washington, DC, Photo shoot for upcoming National Geographic Kids book

June 12: Alabama School Librarians Association conference

June 13: TASL Road Trip East (tentative)

Let me know if you’d like me to add staff development or an author visit for your school or district!

Reading and Writing in Science

If your school is looking for staff development to implement the Once Upon books or simply to improve reading and writing in the content areas (without using the books), please get in touch! I help teachers use literacy to support their science (or social studies) instruction, and vice versa. I also address scientific argumentation (making claims and supporting them with evidence). I especially love working with groups of teachers over time as they move from traditional instructional methods to engaging, inquiry based work.

Author Visits

I offer engaging science-filled assemblies and writing workshops. Let the "Wow!" of science turn into understanding and curiosity! See my website for more information or contact me with questions.

"I truly found it to be the BEST author visit I have seen even if it was only 20 minutes and via Skype!"

--5th grade teacher, Ecuador

"You did great. Connecting with kids, getting them to think wonder and then experiment to find out. All of this was a great hook for them to then make the connection in the reading portion of your visit."
--Media Specialist, Austin, TX