Jennifer Thoma

Twitter: @jthoma


  • PhD in Curriculum and Instruction, Spring 2016, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

Emphasis in Literacy

Dissertation: Examining teachers’ experiences in a Professional Learning Community focused on integrating technology into literacy instruction

Advisors: Dr. Amy Hutchison and Dr. Donald Bear

  • K-12 Reading Specialist Degree (2008), Viterbo University, LaCrosse, Wisconsin (West Des Moines, Iowa Branch)
  • M.Ed. (2004), Viterbo University, LaCrosse, Wisconsin (West Des Moines, Iowa Branch)
  • Reading Endorsement (2000), Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa
  • B.A. (1997), Elementary Education, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, Iowa
  • B.A. (1994), Psychology, Wartburg College, Waverly, Iowa

Academic Positions

  • Assistant Professor of Literacy and Early Childhood Education, Drake University, Fall 2016-
  • Part-time Instructor, Viterbo University, West Des Moines, Iowa, Fall 2007-13
  • Teaching Assistant,  School of Education, Iowa State University, Summer 2011, 2012, 2013

K-12 Instruction


  • First and Second Grade Literacy and Math, Second Grade Classroom Teacher, Westwood Elementary, Ankeny Community Schools, Ankeny, IA 2004-2009
  • First through Fifth Grade Supplemental Reading, First Grade Classroom Teacher, Hanawalt Elementary School, Des Moines Public Schools, Des Moines, IA 2000-2004

Instructional Coach

  • K-5 Instructional Coach, Northeast Elementary, Ankeny Community Schools, Ankeny, IA 2009-present



Instructional Coaching in the State of Iowa, (2016). Center for Educational Transformation, University of Northern Iowa


Mokhtari, K., Thoma, J., and Edwards, P. (2009). How one elementary school uses data to help raise students’ reading achievement.  The Reading Teacher, 63(4), 334-337.

Book Review for Publisher

Sweeney, D. (2011). Student Centered Coaching: A Guide for K-8 Coaches and Principals. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Conference Presentation

Mixdorf, K., Petersen, C., Owen, T., and Thoma, J. On the Fly Assessments Presentation at the 2016 Annual Celebrating Iowa’s Success Symposium, Des Moines, IA.

Thoma, J., Schlomer, K., and Mixdorf, K. (2011). Drive Instruction with Data. Presentation at the 2011 National Staff Development Council Summer Conference. Indianapolis, IN. Abstract retrieved from

Courses Taught

Drake University

  • Teaching Reading in the Elementary Classroom (EDUC 137/237) Fall 2016
  • Literacy Assessment and Instruction II (EDUC 178/278) Summer 2016, Fall 2016
  • Curriculum in Early Childhood (EDUC 152/252) Summer 2016
  • Supervision of Student Teachers in Early Childhood Education, Summer 2016

Viterbo University

  • Guiding Instruction with Assessment (EDUC 782), Co-Instructor with Jennifer Jacob, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Summer 2009
  • Formative Assessment for Better Teaching – Online (EDUC 870), Fall 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Teaching Secondary Writing—Online (EDUC 510), Summer 2012

Iowa State University

  • Corrective Reading (CI 552), Summer 2011
  • Supervised Tutoring in Reading (CI 588), Summer 2012, Summer 2013

Ankeny Community School District (Heartland AEA 11)

  • Phonics and Strategies for Early Readers and Struggling Readers (2012-13)
  • Spelling Matters (2013)
  • iPad and Tech Integration: Re-thinking the Classroom (2013)
  • Technology Integration in a Student Centered Classroom (2013, 2014)

Workshops/Professional Development

  • Formative Assessment, Ankeny Community School District, ACSD (2010)
  • Quality Nonfiction Texts for Elementary Literacy, ACSD (2010-11)
  • Nonfiction Read-alouds, ACSD (2010-11)
  • Explaining Words Read-alouds, ACSD (2011-12)
  • Pilot: One-to-one Chromebook Implementation Training, 5th Grade, ACSD (2012-13)
  • Using the KUD Process as a PLC, TLCs Grades K-5, ACSD (2013)
  • Online Reading Comprehension Think-aloud, 5th Grade TLC, ACSD (2014)
  • Text Complexity and the Iowa Core State Standards, ACSD (2015)
  • Iowa Core Mathematical Content and Practice Shifts, ACSD (2015)

Service to the Field

  • Editorial Advisory Board: CITE-ITEL, in collaboration with the Literacy Research Association
  • Reviewer: AERA 2016 for AERA 2017 Annual Meeting Division K (Teaching and Teacher Education)
  • Diversity Committee, Drake University 2016-
  • NE Summer Reading Tutoring Program Summer 2015
  • Northeast Family Literacy Night, Fall 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Northeast Family Math Night, Fall 2010
  • Northeast Summer Reading Program, Summer 2011, Summer 2012
  • Northeast Elementary Tech Cadre, 2011-2013
  • Ankeny Technology Task Force (2012-present)
  • Northeast PTO Iowa Core State Standards and Standards of Mathematical Practices (Fall, 2014)

Professional Memberships

  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • Literacy Research Association (LRA)
  • National Staff Development Council (NSDC)
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE)
  • National Association of Education of the Young Child (NAEYC)