Discourse and Journaling

Course Number: EDU 5626 C03
Instructor: Melinda Robinson
Location: Online
Dates and Times: January 21 - April 12, 2019
Credits: 3 Graduate Credits
Tuition: $925

Note: Course payment by check or purchase order, payable to Castleton University, is due at the time of registration. A purchase order number can be entered into the online registration form and the purchase order can be uploaded to the registration form. If paying by check, please mail the check to: Financial & Registration Services, Castleton University, 62 Alumni Drive, Castleton, VT 05735. To help us ensure that your payment is applied to the correct course, PLEASE WRITE “CFS” IN THE CHECK MEMO LINE. Thank you.

Course Description

In this online course we will explore how to get students reflecting and engaging in discourse in our math classroom. We will discover how to create an environment that encourages our students to discuss their mathematical thinking and strategies as well as reflect and share with others their thoughts and solutions to everyday problems. We will explore ways to provide opportunities daily for them to show what they understand and how to build in time for them to become inquisitive about math in the world around them. We will also discover how math journals can play a role in reflecting and exploring in our classrooms.

Essential Questions

How does discourse promote a deeper understanding in our mathematics classrooms?

What shifts can we make in our classroom to promote discourse and rich concept building?

How can we promote inquiry within our classroom?

How can math journals help to build a richer understanding in our classroom?

Course Expectations

Week 1- - The need for discourse
• Introduction to discourse
• Research and impact of common core
• Post due by midnight on Thursday.
• Comment on two other’s posts by midnight on Sunday.

Week 2- - Promoting Discourse 
• Encouraging reflection and growth mindset.
• Creating a safe community that is open to discourse.
• Post due by midnight on Thursday.
• Comment on two other’s posts by midnight on Sunday.

Weeks 3 and 4- - Number talks and routines that promote discourse
• Explore various routines that help to promote discourse along with focusing talk moves.
• By Thursday of 1st week post a comment.
• By Sunday of 1st week comment on 2 other’s posts.
• By Thursday of 2nd week post a video of a math routine and reflect on it in a post.
• Comment by Sunday of 2nd week on 2 other’s posts.

Week 5 and 6- - Questions that promote discourse, and creating opportunity for inquiry
• By Thursday of 1st week post a comment reflecting on materials.
• By Sunday of 1st week, comment on 2 other’s posts
• By Thursday of 2nd week post a comment reflecting on a lesson.
• By Sunday of 2nd week, comment on 2 other’s posts.

Week 7- - Small Group Discussions
• Research guided math benefits.
• By Thursday post a comment.
• By Sunday comment on two other’s posts.

Week 8 and 9-- Journaling 
• Review different structures for journaling
• By Thursday of 1st week, post a comment 
• By Sunday of 1st week, comment on 2 other’s posts
• By Thursday of 2nd week share a journal entry from your class and post a comment.
• By Sunday of 2nd week, comment on two other’s posts.

Week 10- - Critiquing the Reasoning of others.
• How to critique clearly and respectfully.
• By Thursday, post a comment
• By Sunday, comment on 2 other’s posts. 

Week 11-- Assessing Discourse
• Explore rubrics and feedback that helps to encourage discourse.
• By Thursday, post a comment
• Share a rubric that you have used and discuss the merits of the assessment.
• By Sunday, reflect on at least 2 other’s posts.

Week 12- - Conclusion and reflection
• Review your learning throughout the course.
• Reflect on where you would like to go next.

Course Requirements: If taking the course for 3 graduate credits.

1. Attendance and Participation (25%):

This course requires participants to respond to the questions and/or prompts by the specified date each week. Students who miss more than one class response may be required to drop the course. Students are expected to collaborate as a professional with the other students in the class, advocate for themselves if there is confusion, and communicate effectively. 

2. Student Learning Prompts (25%):

Students will be responsible for responding weekly to the prompt or questions that are presented for that week. Students are also responsible for responding to at least 2 other classmates’ prompts weekly. It is important that we communicate and discuss what we have learned with our colleague so that the group can grow in our knowledge together. There will be a rubric that will be used to assess the professional level of discourse being shared each week. 

3. Three Classroom Assignments: (50%):
There are three separate assignments throughout the course:
- video clip of a math routine in week 4
- sample journal entry used in classroom in week 9
- A rubric used in the classroom in week 11


1. Attendance and Participation 20

2. Student Learning Prompts 30

3. Three Classroom Assignments 50

Total: 100

Required Texts

Resources and Materials:
All resources and materials will be provided for you, there are no books to purchase.

Here is a sampling of some of the resources we will use in the course:

“Let’s talk, Promoting Mathematical Discourse in Classrooms.” Mathematics Teacher, Nov. 2007

For additional course information

Melinda Robinson

For additional registration information

Bethany Sprague
(802) 468-1325

Register online now!