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!

Executive Functioning and Giftedness

by: Erin Peace, LCSW, RPT School Counselor As we settle back into our routine for the school year, many of us emphasize setting resolutions ...