Friday, March 10, 2023

Happy (early) Pi Day!

Students in our 8th grade Geometry class have just finished a unit on circles - so what better way to celebrate (early) Pi Day than by measuring and eating real pie?

Ensuring that each student received an equal share required the use of a few measurement tools and a keen eye for detail. They used a compass and protractor - measurement tools of choice of the ancients - to construct the center of each pie. Then they split it into equal size sectors, also known as perfect slices of pie!

Here is a problem the group completed (from Open Up Resources). Can you solve it?

Wendell really likes pie and has offered to pay twice the price for a slice of pie that is guaranteed to contain at least 15 square inches of pie. 

-- What is the degree measure of the smallest sector of an 8 inch round pie that will satisfy Wendall's cravings?

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Global Fest 2023

The ACE Community had a wonderful time celebrating our cultural heritages at Global Fest on Saturday. We enjoyed delicious food, engaging musical and dance performances, and spending time together. Thank you to all of our staff and parents who made this event a huge success! A extra special thank you to our No Place for Hate student committee who put in a lot of time and effort helping support the planning, set up, and clean up for the event. 

Students from Austin Chinese American Network

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Giftedness and Perfectionism

 By Erin Peace, LCSW, RPT: ACE Academy School Counselor

What is perfectionism?
The American Psychology Association defines perfectionism as “the tendency to demand of others or of oneself an extremely high or even flawless level of performance.” Due to gifted students’ internal and external pressures related to their high abilities, perfectionism shows up among many of our students. It can be helpful to delineate when perfectionism can be a helpful, driving motivation, or serve as a debilitating barrier that prevents students from attempting difficult tasks. 

Perfectionism vs. Healthy Striving

While perfectionism can lead to avoidance or low self-esteem, healthy striving for excellence encourages students to set high yet realistic goals. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you can feel proud when you try new things or make mistakes in order to learn. 

Maladaptive perfectionism, on the other hand, both stems from low self-esteem and contributes to the cycle of low self-esteem. When a student sets a standard for flawless performance and is unable to meet those standards, they often experience either avoidance of the material or obsession related to external validation instead of intrinsic motivation. This video, which is developed for younger students, helps define perfectionism and give concrete examples. 

Healthy Striving


Assessing for Perfectionism

Individuals can encounter perfectionism in certain domains and not others: for example, one person may experience unrealistically high standards in math or history, while others may only face this while playing sports or developing friendships. In order to help a student address these beliefs and actions, you can help them identify their triggers to then set goals.

For Lower School Students: This worksheet from School Counseling Success can help students identify their perfectionistic tendencies, while also exploring alternatives for healthy striving. 

For Upper School Students: This informal assessment breaks down perfectionism into different categories. 

Resources for Parents

Both Hoagies’ Gifted Education and the Davidson Institute provide parent resources for supporting your students’ growth mindset skills. In a future blog post, I will identify specific strategies you can use to address maladaptive perfectionistic tendencies and support your students’ self-esteem.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Focus on STEM - Science Fair Winners

ACE Upper School students worked so hard on their science fair projects this year. They had the chance to share and explain their research through the end of January. The photo below shows some of our Science Fair Winners. These students earned high points for clearly stating and explaining their purpose, hypothesis, variables, results, and conclusions on their board and in presenting to others. 

Participating in Science Fair is a great way to put into practice all the elements of the scientific method, as well as building their executive functioning skills for long term planning and public speaking skills. We are so proud of all the hard work all of our Upper Schoolers did during Science Fair this year!



Monday, February 20, 2023

Repurposing and Creativity -- Flower Presses in Jewelry Making

What can you make with scrap wood from an old bookshelf? The possibilities are endless when you engage your creativity muscles.

ACE Upper School students in our Jewelry Making elective class taught by Tara Barron transformed that scrap wood into flower presses. They plan to make resin jewelry pieces with pressed flowers inside, so they began from scratch and sawed, sanded, and drilled their presses themselves. 

We can't wait to see their amazing resin creations!

Friday, February 10, 2023

SEL: Valentine's Day and Self-Compassion

By Erin Peace, LCSW, RPT: ACE Academy School Counselor

As Valentine's Day approaches, I like to talk to kiddos about self-compassion and loving ourselves, versus focusing solely on external validation for love and acceptance. Many of our students have difficulty practicing the art of self-compassion, and explicit focus on this during Valentine's week can be helpful timing. 

HERE is a self-compassion exercise you can try. 

At its core, self-compassion involves 3 components: 

1) mindfulness: being aware of the thoughts and emotions arising without judgement

2) self-kindness: extending the same kindness to yourself that you would to a friend

3) common humanity: recognizing that to be human is to make mistakes and learn from the mistakes

In order to help students feel proud of their strengths, and also practice accepting their weaknesses, you can have students write kindness letters to themselves, or decorate portraits identifying their self-compassionate parts and self-critical parts. 

Here is a cute photos of the 1st/2nd graders decorating their self-compassion gingerbread people today. This was after we wrote down their self-critical thoughts on toilet paper to be flushed down the toilet! They obviously loved that part.

Thursday, February 9, 2023

ACE Engage Service Learning


Every upper schooler this year has participated in several service projects from the ground up. They have worked to identify a need in the community, research about it, and volunteered their time. They helped in various areas including spreading literacy, helping the environment, and serving those in need. While collaborating with each other and members of the community, they built relationship skills and social awareness. 

Seventh graders, along with Ms. Srinivasan and Ms. Harris, chose literacy as their focus for service this year. In the first semester, they adopted a local Little Free Library and ran a book drive to restock it.

In February, they chose to volunteer at BookSpring, a local nonprofit that focuses on distributing books to children.  They spent an afternoon helping to sort and organize books to share their love of literacy with other children in Austin. 

Students also spent time giving back to the local community by doing some clean up in a local park. We want to help Austin shine!

Happy (early) Pi Day!

Students in our 8th grade Geometry class have just finished a unit on circles - so what better way to celebrate (early) Pi Day than by measu...