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A Hoot of an Event

Posted in Kids' Corner

A mass of squirming children locked eyes on me and fell quiet as I came out of the classroom door. For a group of over fifty first graders, sitting still as a mouse is no small feat. But seeing a live Great Horned Owl on their ACES teacher’s arm was no small event either. With a shuffle of feathers and a blink of those big yellow eyes, the audience was captured…


Annual Colorado Association for Environmental Education Conference

Posted in Kids' Corner

On March 10, seven members of ACES’ education team traveled to Denver to attend the Colorado Association of Environmental Education (CAEE) annual Advancing Environmental Education Conference. The conference is two packed days of team building, networking, idea sharing, and professional development with other environmental education organizations and individuals in Colorado.


Animals Preparing (and Excelling) for Winter

Posted in Kids' Corner

As we anxiously count up the inches on top of Aspen’s mountains, many of our furry animals have also been taking count. Winter is upon us, but, we still hear Magpie’s squaw, startle groups of deer, and find increasing numbers of animal track marks. So how are these animals able to survive the frigid temps while I struggle even with my down jacket and thermos of hot chocolate? The answer is more complicated than it appears and, in ACES Ed, we are making sure credit is given where credit is due.


Energy Experts: Project-Based Learning in Action at Crystal River Elementary School

Posted in Kids' Corner

At the start of the 2016/2017 school year, Crystal River Elementary School adopted the Project-Based Learning Initiative (PBL) to guide their pedagogy. Throughout the year, Crystal River Educators will strive to implement this teaching method, which enables students to gain knowledge and skills by investigating and responding to an authentic, engaging, and complex question, problem, or challenge.


Every Family in a Park

Posted in Kids' Corner

The frost clinging to our pop-up camper is starting to slowly melt on this frigid morning in Yellowstone National Park. Mom is the first to wake (as usual) and starts to prep our breakfast. A loud, “AHH!” promptly wakes up the rest of the family. Alarmed, I look over to my mom - who is staring out of our open camper door, locking eyes with a very large bison. My brother and I, extremely amused, unzip our windows to find bison completely surrounding our campsite! I am fascinated and excited to be so close to these incredible animals.


Basalt High School Ex Ed Trip

Posted in Kids' Corner

The great outdoors is my favorite classroom. As an ACES Educator, I am lucky to spend much of my time engaging students of all ages in this ever-changing learning environment.


New School Year, New Classroom!

Posted in Kids' Corner

Over the last several years, ACES Ed has changed and grown in Basalt Elementary School (BES.) This year ACES classroom moved and excitingly, is now located within the school building (before, we were in a building nearby called, the Red Brick Building). 


Assessment in the ACES Ed Classroom

Posted in Kids' Corner

One of my long-term goals in the ACES Environmental Ed classroom at Aspen Elementary School has been to improve student assessment in 3rd and 4th grade. In ACES Ed, each grade level’s curriculum consists of 28 lessons that are divided into three or four units. These units weave state science standards together with place-based experiential lessons to create an environmental education experience that is both rooted in science and relevant to the natural environments where our students live.


Little Ranchers Take Back the Ranch

Posted in Kids' Corner

Spring is in full swing at ACES at Rock Bottom Ranch, as we’re busily preparing the soil, starting seedlings, and caring for all the newest farm animals who call the Ranch home. In the past few weeks, we’ve welcomed new piglets, lambs, chicks, and rabbit kits, with more on the way!  Spring at the Ranch also brings our Little Ranchers parent and child class with the youngest members of the ACES community.


Coming Full Circle

Posted in Kids' Corner

It’s been two and a half months since my first day as an ACES Educator in the ACES Ed classroom at Aspen Elementary School. It’s been 17 years since I myself was a bright eyed 4th grader “helping” construct the very classroom over which I now preside.  


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