Awesome Summer Snippets!

Some awesome summer snippets from Florida State University!

Summer Reading in JSTOR

Stories by Meg Wolitzer, David Sedaris, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, E. Annie Proulx, Amy Tan, Donna Tartt, Lydia Millet, Lauren Groff, and more:

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Addressing How to Respond…

Wednesday is Teachers Teaching Teachers at   (8PM EST)

and I think this is worth a . peek and a look – as a possible way to empower voices to respond to so many issues peaking in today’s world!

From Mr. Paul Allison:

Katherine Noble-Goodman, Manager, SolutionsU Educator Community, will be joining us on TTT this Wednesday, November 29th at 8 pm ET / 7 pm CT / 6 pm MT / 5 pm PT. Katherine and I would like to make this an interactive webinar so that she can get input from all of us about how to make their educational resources most useful to teachers like us.
Please take some time exploring the links in the attached “Invitation to High School Teachers.” When SolutionsU went live in August Chris Sloan and I began to imagine how we might use SolutionsU with our classes after this conversation with Taylor Nelson. I’m excited to see how quickly they are reaching out to high school teachers and students. (See attached email.)
Please let me know if you might be able to join us in the Hangout on Wednesday for this interactive webinar. 
And, if you will be able to join us:
Before TTT on Wednesday, please go to to create a profile.  
Follow these few steps to create a SolutionsU profile. 
  •  Go to SolutionsU
  • In the upper right corner, click on LOGIN/REGISTER.
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the box and click on REGISTER HERE.
  • From the popup box, select the middle option: I’M AN EDUCATOR OR STUDENT (NOT IN JOURNALISM).
  • Under What is Your Main Profession, select: Educator (NOT Journalism School) 
  •  Answer the rest of the questions.
  • In referred by, answer “Teachers Teaching Teachers” 
Your name will now appear in the upper right corner. Click on your name and you’ll see your Settings, Collections and Favorites.  You can save stories, create collections, and share stories and resources you have created with others. You can also view all of the Teaching Resources, and coming soon, Student Resources, as well!
Click here for a tutorial of all you can do on SolutionsU.
Thanks for taking the time to consider this. You will probably get a mass email announcing this event. This email is a more specific invitation to find a few educators who might be able to join us in the Hangout after they have registered at SolutionsU.
THANKS! Please let me know if you will be able to make it or not and check out the attached email (below) 



Dear “Teachers Teaching Teachers Community,”

I am writing to invite you to explore SolutionsU.  Nearly 200 faculty (and administrators), teaching in a range of disciplines, at more than 150 college campuses across the country are part of our growing community. In 2018, we are extending our network to high school students and teachers, and in anticipation of that, I am reaching out to you today.

For those of you who are not familiar with SolutionsU, we are a project of the Solutions Journalism Network (SJN), a nonprofit organization that works to rebalance the news so that what we read, hear and listen to each day isn’t just problems, but also solutions. SJN works with newsrooms and universities to train journalists and future journalists in how to do this type of reporting on society’s toughest challenges; SolutionsU works to disseminate solutions journalism stories across society, beginning with students and educators.

As part of this mission, we provide our resources to teachers at no cost.  

I am excited to begin working with high school teachers early next year, but in the meantime, please explore our resources, share them with your students, and start using them in your teaching as you see fit.  

I am also forwarding to you our first Educator Newsletter.  While this particular newsletter is geared toward college-level teachers, I wanted to share it with you as a preview of a similar newsletter I will be sending out to our high school teachers in the coming months. To make sure you receive the newsletter, and to access all of our resources now, you will need a SolutionsU profile. It takes less than two minutes. Here’s how:

Go to, and in the upper right corner, click on LOGIN/REGISTER and then scroll down to Register Here.


Now you’re part of the SolutionsU Educator Community!

Solutions journalism stories can be valuable teaching resources and the basis of creative assignments because they: 


  • Complement textbooks and journal articles with nuanced, diverse, and continuously updated stories about people around the world working to create change. 
  • Enhance student engagement and learning about social change in a variety of disciplines. 
  • Introduce the important elements of possibility, opportunity, and inspiration into the student learning experience.

I hope you enjoy the newsletter below, and please reach out to me for support in using the resources, with questions and comments, or just to say hello! 


PS – Scroll down to the Featured Resources section of the Newsletter below for a fun assignment to send home with your students (or do yourself) over the upcoming holiday break.  It will get them (and you) started using SolutionsU, and as you will see, it is relevant for just about any level of high school student!

Katherine Noble-Goodman, MBA, MA

Manager, SolutionsU 



Speak, Bullying, Climate, and Books in General.

As I go through my school hard drive of files today, I found just a awesome review of books – and it reminds me how much an art it is to find literature that matches specific situations.  I am sure this is why I have loved literature, teaching English, and applying the life outside of the walls of schools to this life we go through everyday.  The synthesis of literature, genres, and reading, is not, and does not have to be a solitary activity.  As we begin the investigation of a book titled Speak, issues of climate change that  need to be dealt with, as well as issues that fall under the category of bullying, isolation and so much more, I find it comforting to know that books can be a go to for dealing with so many of these situations.  Making the start of the year being a list of genres that will help support the curriculum is as important as the curriculum itself.

“Books are a natural and necessary part of preparation and planning, as are newspapers, journals, and other media that excite the learner.

Students delve into topics for greater awareness. They gain perspective and a point of view, particularly regarding situations we hope students will never be in, for example, experiencing a tsunami or extreme poverty. Their understanding of time and place becomes more attuned as they experience the convergence of past and current history.

Literature also shows different approaches to or writing styles on a similar theme and can include examples of what young people have accomplished through service.

As students decide to address bullying on campus and learn about this topic, elementary grades will relish The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman. Older students use this book to put on skits for the younger ones, and both benefit. James Howe’s Pinky and Rex and the Bully is excellent for elementary classrooms and The Misfits, for middle schools, is a book that has given birth to National No Name-Calling Week.

Now with two sequels, Totally Joe and Addie on the Inside, Howe’s books can inspire both the love of reading and the imperative for action. Deborah Ellis’ young adult novel Bifocal is exceptional for looking at how rumors and prejudice impact high school students in the wake of September 11.

Most notable in the nonfiction category is Ellis’s recent addition to her long list of excellent titles, We Want You to Know: Kids Talk About Bullying. A book for all ages, this compels students, teachers and administrators to move beyond awareness into a plan for change.

14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy would be perfect to read at the beginning of a September 11 commemoration. Gone Fishing: Ocean Life by the Numbers by David McLimans could be used to teach numbers to students and could lead to a joint activity to care for the environment. The Wartville Wizard by Don Madden is hilarious to act out as a service learning activity around Earth Day or any day to raise awareness of litter and trash.

Here again books can be key. Empty by Suzanne Weyn is a brilliant young adult novel occurring ten years in the future when our planet is out of fossil fuels. As students reflect on an environmental service learning experience, using the characters and text of this novel would be exceptional. Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth shows a child reflecting on her front stoop as she considers what she will do to create beauty.

Now, here is my impossible top ten books list. Impossible, because my mind wants to say, “Oh, one more, and this one, too!” Here are my top ten for today. Tomorrow may be a different story!

The Curse of Akkad: Climate Upheavals that Rocked Human History by Peter Christie. This thrilling nonfiction treatise on how history has changed because of dramatic climate change is a real eye-opener and reads like a Jason Bourne thriller. Nonfiction, young adult.

In Our Village: Kambi ya Simba through the Eyes of Its Youth by Students of Awet Secondary School, edited by Barbara Cervone, is a service learning book that brings a small remote village in Tanzania into your classroom. This book was the impetus for me to initiate In Our Global Village with Barbara Cervone, which invites students around the world to write books back to the Awet students. Find out more at Nonfiction, all ages.

Jakeman by Deborah Ellis introduces us to kids in the foster care system. In telling of their escapades to visit their mothers on Mother’s Day, all of whom are in prison, they make you laugh, cry, and care. Nonfiction, young adult.

A Life Like Mine: How Children Live Around the World by DK Publishing is a UNICEF book that brings the world into your classroom. All ages benefit from this informative nonfiction book. Two others in the series are A School Like Mine: How Children Learn Around the World and A Faith Like Mine: How Children Worship Around the World.

The Long March: The Choctaw’s Gift to Irish Potato Famine Relief by Mary-Louise Fitzpatrick is a story skipped in our text books, exquisitely written, and important to tell. I use this book in elementary to university presentations. A picture book.

Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman is a point-of-view novel that shows how a child can influence an entire neighborhood to create a community garden. Fiction, grades 6 and up.

The Summer My Father Was Ten and Wanda’s Roses, both by Pat Brisson, are essential picture books. The first is about how a thoughtless act of vandalism becomes an opportunity for two generations to come together through a garden, and the second is about a girl creating a garden despite all the odds!

We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History by Phillip Hoose is a book belonging wherever young people are studying American History and want to know about what youth were doing. This thick book is rich with primary source materials and well-researched stories.

Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz is an exceptional novel told in first person by an 18-year-old who ends up in rehab and doesn’t know how he got there. With unexpected humor and intensity, this is a book for grades 11 and 12.

My Life as a Book by Janet Tashjian is pure joy. We meet Derek, who does not want to read his summer reading list and finds that drawing is his way to learn vocabulary. It’s filled with action, humor, a heartfelt resolution, and plenty of drawings by Jake Tashjian, the author’s teenage son. Novel, grades 4–6, and everyone else who wants to reach and teach children.

Critical Thinking and the News

As you know, shakedowns in political arenas in 2016-2017 affected news and how news is reported, covered, and distributed to the public.  

It is vital even now  more than before that we


are giving the critical thinking skills individuals need to all our patrons.    IFLA and this resource is vital not only for AP, IB, and college students, but also as as adults every day!