Friday, March 31, 2023

Robotics in Fourth Grade STEM

Last week our fourth grade students dove into an introduction of A.I. and how we use it in daily life. This week we began constructing our first robotic driving base and learning the proper code functions. As we progress our learners will begin to program their robots with a fundamental A.I. with the ability to run an obstacle course. What a fun and hard working group of learners!

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?

National History Day

National History Day (NHD) is 
a year-long program focused on historical research, interpretation and creative expression for 6th- to 12th-grade students. By participating in NHD, students endeavor to become writers, filmmakers, web designers, playwrights, and artists as they seek to create unique contemporary expressions of history. In the ACE Academy Middle School history classes, we introduce NHD to the students with the goal of fostering a more complex appreciation of history and developing the requisite executive functioning skills conducive to the successful completion of long-term objectives, products, and projects.

On March 8, 2023, our 6th and 7th grade students shared the results of their historical research and product development. The students presented the museum exhibits, websites, documentaries, and papers that they had created from their research into the annual theme: Frontiers in History. Their topics ranged from civil rights to scientific advances to alternative music, and their presentations were conducted before an audience of parents, teachers, and fellow students.

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.

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 ...