Geology 8T: Earth Science Lab for Teachers



Click here for the one page information sheet that I hand out on the first day of class.

Course Description: Geology 8T

Exploration of the solid Earth, its atmosphere and oceans, and the Earth's place in the solar system.  Geology 8T is part of the Liberal Studies elementary subject matter program for students who are preparing to be K-8 teachers in California.  This class explores the natural science portion of the curriculum through classroom-ready activities that emphasize investigation.  You should come out of this class with a sound knowledge of general Earth Science, the processes of science, and ideas and materials to use in your own classroom settings.  Laboratory three hours. Prerequisite: GEOL 8; may be taken concurrently.

Format & Textbook Information

The class is taught through hands-on activities.  The course material is designed to be learned in class, therefore it is essential that you attend all classes.  Many of the activities you will do are appropriate for children in K-8 classrooms, however, we will tackle them at a higher intellectual level. The only text for this class is the Geology 8T lab manual, available in the bookstore. You must bring it to class each week. I post notes for each activity on the Lab Schedule Page (click on the topic) to supplement what is included in your manual.  It is helpful to read these notes as well as the activity guides in your manual before you come to class.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, you should be able to:

Accessing your grades on SacCT (Blackboard)

I will be using SacCt so that you can keep tabs on your grades and also for announcements. You can log in to SacCT at You will need your saclink account and password in order to log in. If you are new to SacCt, then you can get information about it at this link:


Grading will be broken down as follows:

Weekly Assignments »45%

The Basics

You will be given a weekly assignment at the end of each lab which will be due before you leave class.  The weekly assignments involve conceptual questions designed to assess your understanding of the lab activities.  Each assignment will be graded out of 10 points and will be equally weighted.

You will be given time to complete the assignment during class and it should be turned in prior to leaving.  You may discuss the assignment questions with each other but your answers should be written individually –> identical answers constitute plagiarism and all involved will receive a zero for that question. I will collect the weekly assignment at the end of class and will return it the following lab period. If an assignment is NOT handed in at the end of class it will be considered late.

Late assignments may be turned in no later than the BEGINNING of the following lab period.

IF YOU MISS CLASS YOU STILL HAVE TO TURN IN THE ASSIGNMENT - plan to do that by the following Tuesday for the least impact on your grade.  Contact a classmate and look at the lab notes on the Lab Schedule Page to find out what you missed; I will post the assignments at the end of each lab period on the Assignments Page with some comments about what you need to do to make up the assignment. Please contact me ( if for some reason I forget to upload the assignment!

Late Assignment Categories

Rewriting Your Assignments

Assignments may be rewritten once for a higher grade, but only if they were originally handed in on time. You do not have to rewrite the entire assignment, only those parts on which you lost points. When you do your rewrites please take into account any comments that I may have made on your original assignment.  Hand in your original graded assignment with your rewrite.  Rewrites are due one week after the graded assignments were returned and will NOT be accepted later than that.

Quizzes » 45%

There will be a short quiz at the beginning of class every week, starting in week 3.  Detailed information about each quiz will be posted through quiz links on the Lab Schedule Page one week prior to the quiz date. If you miss a quiz you must contact me ( to arrange to take the quiz BEFORE the next class period, otherwise you will receive a zero for that quiz.

Lab Activities » 10%

Many hands-on activities have been developed for this class.  It is essential that you participate in each activity in order to experience first hand the Earth Science learning outcomes of this course. You will receive credit for each activity that you complete in class (this will comprise your 10% activity participation grade). I will give you one "sick day" by dropping your one lab period's worth of participation scores - however, YOU MUST STILL DO THE WEEKLY ASSIGMENT AND QUIZ FOR EVERY LAB PERIOD, WHETHER YOU WERE IN CLASS, OR NOT.

Missing Class

It is impossible to make up a lab unless you arrange to attend a different lab during that same week.  If you miss class, download the weekly assignment posted on the Assignments Page and turn it in to me before the beginning of the next class period (best to slip it under my door by 6 pm the following Tuesday, Placer Hall 1018). See the late assignment categories above. In order to do the assignment well, be sure to read about the activities in your lab manual, review the notes posted on the Lab Schedule Page, speak to a classmate, and e-mail me if you have specific questions ( If a quiz was taken during the lab that you missed, you will have to make that up before the next class session (contact me right away to arrange a time sometime before the next class meeting).

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

If you have a disability and require accommodations, you need to provide disability documentation to Services for Students with Disabilities (SSWD).  For more information please visit the Services to Students with Disabilities website. They are located in Lassen Hall 1008 and can be contacted by phone at (916) 278-6955 (Voice), (916) 278-7239 (TDD only) or via email at

Please discuss your accommodation needs with me after class or during my office hours early in the semester.

Classroom Expectations

I expect respect to be shown both to me and to your classmates.  I encourage you to actively confer with other students because you can learn a lot from each other (both by explaining something and by having something explained to you). HOWEVER, I expect all work that you turn in to me to be WRITTEN IN YOUR OWN WORDS, copying directly from one another is a form of plagiarism.

Cell phones and other electronic devices should be stowed away during lab. I will not hesitate to put your phone or device into temporary storage for the duration of the lab period if you cannot resist the allure of electronics during class time.

Academic Honesty

It is essential that you do your own work in this course.  You will work collaboratively with other students during class, however, all of your assignments must be your own work.  As a teacher, it is critical that you develop a strong sense of academic ethics that you can pass on to your students.  All instances of academic dishonesty will be dealt with harshly, with consequences that range from a grade of F, to referral to the Office of Student Affairs for disciplinary action.

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