Monday, March 28, 2022

(28/31) A Text Set on Text Sets

28 of 31 - SOLSC 2022

"Today, in preparation for our Minimum Day, we are going to explore text sets. I don't expect you to know what a text set is at this point. This is a time for inquiry. You have been sent a text set on text sets and your job right now is to take the next 12 minutes to explore. At that point we will touch base."

Now, if you have ever been in a room of teachers who are supposed to be engaged in an independent learning activity you know that they are worse than students. So I wasn't the least bit surprised when there was chatter scattered around the room where our entire teaching staff was gathered.

Two minutes later I was astounded when the room fell SILENT - and it stayed that way for the next ten minutes! Teachers were actively engaged in the text set on text sets; reading, watching videos, and taking notes.

"Get in groups of 3-4 and share what you have discovered."

The room became a buzz with conversations with all teachers engaged with their groups. Wandering around the room I clarified wonderings and asked questions within triads and quads.

"You now have another ten minutes to explore further." And a hush fell over the room again, this time with occasional whispers and pointing out something on their screen to a neighbor. 

After the time was up I asked, into the mic, "Do you think a text set would be helpful in your classroom?"

Heads nodded in affirmation with some audible "yes"es around the auditorium.

"Great because that is your task for the Minimum Day. We are giving you this gift of time. Time to create useful resources for your class. Choose one subject to start with. You may work independently or in teams. The choice is yours. The purpose of today was for you to have an understanding of what text sets can look like and start thinking about what you may want to create. This was done today rather than Wednesday so that you have the entirety of your time on Wednesday to dive into the work. Before we leave this morning, turn back to your group and share what text set you think you might start with."

P.E. teachers shared with Arabic teachers. Elementary teachers were knee to knee with their secondary colleagues. Everyone sharing how they thought they might incorporate text sets into their teaching.

As teachers headed to their classrooms to welcome students to another day of learning I was still in awe at how silent the room had been when they started their inquiry. The morning appeared to be a success, based on the engagement, conversations, and ideas that were being shared. The survey after the Minimum Day affirmed the hypothesis. 

Some of the comments are listed below.

Text sets are very handy for both a student and a teacher. It can be time consuming to prepare but totally worth it. 

This was a great opportunity to actually get meaningful work done.

Students gained additional information related to the topic discussed in the class from text sets. 

Students have more points of access to math through interesting stories, videos, articles and pictures. 

Thank you for the gift of time!

Thanks for the idea of putting it all together it makes sense that we provide an easy way of learning to student's access. 


  1. "Thank you for the gift of time," is such an important line and one I hear again and again from exhausted teachers who are just trying to hang on!

  2. How wonderful and exciting to see this happen during PD! It sounds like these educators had such meaningful experiences with you!

  3. I'm curious and want to look into this after reading your post! What a wonderful PD session to have that type of engagement and how wonderful that the teachers were given time to actually put the PD to use! Sounds like wins all around!

  4. Time to collaborate and put PD to use IS the greatest gift of all!

  5. Sounds like your teachers turned out to be pretty good students after all. Maybe they just needed some inspiration, like our students do. (Tam Truong)

  6. Now this is PD I can get behind! Espcialy giving them time to explore and to do "the work." Kudos to you!