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Laura Connaghan » Home

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Email: lconnaghan@dibollisd.com Tutorial Times:
Phone: (936) 465-3303 7:30 am - 8:00 am
Room 21

Conference: Monday-Friday: 9:40 am - 10:26 am



Academic/Teaching Career:
I earned my BA from Mary-Hardin Baylor State University in Behavioral science with a minor in psychology. While attending Mary Hardin Baylor I played a semester of collegiate tennis. After a semester I decided to focus on my studies and was asked to join Pi Gamma Mu the social sciences honor society. Later, I continued my education at Stephen F. Austin State University and earned my teaching certificate. Because I enjoyed trying to bring the active learning into the classroom I repersued and obtained a MA in Instructional Design from American Intercontinental University.

I began my teaching career as part of a magnet program for Houston ISD. Here studies were focused on environmental education and social studies such as Native American studies and United States History. Students learned through hands-on activities: They learned about the health of an environment by collecting and studying specimens from its' lake, practiced map skills and orienteering as they hiked through the piney woods of East Texas, discovered native american culture during a trip to a mock village and studied early United States history as they worked like an early settler in a log cabin and on small farm.

Later, I tried to bring the hands-on approach into the classroom when I beagan teach 3rd and 4th grade in Crockett, Texas. Continuing this approach I came here to Diboll and began teaching 4th and 5th grade science. After 12 years I am glad to still be here in Diboll and I am eager to teach your 8th grade students.


Expectations for 8th grade science:

Objective 8.1 and Objective 8.2
The first two objectives focus on field research.

Objective 8.1 requires that "the student conduct field and laboratory investigations using
safe, environmentally appropriate, and ethical practices." This object has two sub
objectives about making good choices in regards to resources and disposal of materials.
The sub-objectives also ask students to demonstrate safe laboratory practices.

Objective 8.2 states "the student uses scientific inquiry methods during field and
laboratory investigations." The five sub-objectives further define this objective. They divide
the objective into planning, collection of data, organizing data, coming to conclusions and
creating charts and graphs to show results.

Objective 8.3 and 8.5
focus on connecting science lessons beyond the classroom.

Objective 8.3 says, "the student uses critical thinking and scientific problem solving to
make informed decisions." This objective is divided into five sub-objectives. The sub
objectives not only ask students to think critically about materials presented to them and
the results they find in their own scientific inquiries, but also to connect this information to
other subjects such as history.

Objective 8.5 states, "the student knows that relationships exist between science and
technology." The three sub-objectives have students looking at design problems and
testing solutions to the problems or improving the design.

Objective 8.4
Expects that "the student knows how to use a variety of tools and methods to conduct science inquiry." The sub-objectives ask students to be familiar with beakers, Petri dishes, test tubes and other laboratory equipment.

Objective 8.6
First objective looking at science concepts. It says, "The student knows that interdependence occurs among living systems." The three sub-objectives deal with human life, animal life and ecosystems.

Objective 8.7
States, "the student knows that there is a relationship between force and motion." The first sub-objective has students look at the changes in speed and directions of objects in the presence of an unbalanced force. The second sub-objective asks students to look at wave interaction through different media.

Objective 8.8 and 8.9
Focus on what matter is made of and the properties of matter.

Objective 8.8 requires that "the student knows that matter is composed of atoms." The
two sub-objectives look at the structure of atoms and the properties of atoms.

Objective 8.9 says, "The student knows that substances have chemical and physical
properties." This objective has four sub-objectives. The first three sub-objectives look
strictly at chemicals and their reactions. The fourth sub-objective mixes the physical and
chemical properties.

Objective 8.10
Requires students to know "that complex interactions occur between matter and energy." The three sub-objectives further define the objective into matter and energy, natural energy, and loss or gain of energy.

Objective 8.11
This objective requires "the student knows that traits of species can change through generations and that the instruction for traits are contained in the genetic material of the organism." The first sub-objective focuses on how the environment affects a species. The second and third sub-objectives introduce students to genetic traits and combinations.

Objective 8.12 and 8.14
Both focus on the environment.

Objective 8.12 says, "The student knows that cycles exist in Earth systems." Each of the
three sub-objectives teaches students about different types of cycles such as lunar
cycles, climate changes and water cycles.

Objective 8.14 states, "the student knows that natural events and human activities can
alter Earth systems." The three sub-objectives focus on changes already made and
predictions for the future.

Objective 8.13
This objective requires that "the student knows characteristics of the universe." There are three sub-objectives. Each of the sub-objectives focuses on different areas within the universe such as stars, the concept of light years and theories about the origin of the universe.