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Water in Winter with ACES Ed

Posted in Kids' Corner

The winter is in full swing at ACES and it is definitely an exciting time to be an Educator here, both in the classroom and on field programs. ACES Ed takes us beyond the confines of the classroom, and winter provides an excellent opportunity for students throughout the Roaring Fork Valley to develop a stronger connection to a very valuable resource: WATER! 


Why Do I Teach Environmental Education?

Posted in Kids' Corner

As an ACES Educator at Basalt Elementary School (BES) I teach around three hundred students, kindergarten through fourth grade, on a six-day rotation. Recently in the ACES Ed classroom, kindergarteners have been learning about the physical characteristics of local animals. This unit explores the kindergarten science standard that a living organism has physical characteristics that help it survive.


Learning from the Ground Up: Exploring Soil and Cultivating Scientific Inquiry with AES First Graders

Posted in Kids' Corner

It doesn’t take long for first graders at Aspen Elementary School (AES) to get their hands dirty in ACES Ed class. After spending their kindergarten year getting to know local animals, first graders re-enter ACES in-school environmental science education program eager to explore the natural world as backyard ecologists. And what better way to cultivate an early appreciation of the environment than by exploring and learning about soil – one of earth’s most essential building blocks. 


3rd Grade Naturalists Take on the World

Posted in Kids' Corner

What is a Naturalist? ACES Educators posed this question to 3rd graders at Aspen Elementary School (AES) early in the school year.


Kicking off Another School Year with ACES Ed

Posted in Kids' Corner

The end of the summer and beginning of a new school year is a time of great excitement and transition for all. Students check their supply lists, learn their new teachers names and get new outfits for the biggest day of the school year. Here in the Roaring Fork Valley, ACES education team is also embarking on a new school year, gearing up for an exciting year in our classrooms. As teachers and students get to know each other during the first weeks of school, new bonds are formed and the energy is tangible.


Farm to Table for the Kids!

Posted in Ranch Report

It's not everyday you see someone (an 11-year-old no less) asking for more vinaigrette when their plate is already licked clean. This was just one of the things that pleasantly surprised me last week while teaching ACES Farm to Table 101 kids class at Rock Bottom Ranch. We had extra homemade vinaigrette after we dressed our salads from the garden and I was wracking my brain for what to use it for -- if only we had made bread, too! Turns out it doesn't matter, the kids were happy to have seconds of vinaigrette without the salad: "Ohmygosh, YUM!! We have extra?? Can I drink it??"


After School with ACES Ed

Posted in Kids' Corner

From February through April 2014, ACES Ed hosted an eight-week after school enrichment program for 3rd and 4th grade students at Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale. These classes were run through the PowerTime after school program, which is funded by ACCESS Roaring Fork. Participants were hand-picked by teachers and staff.


Get outside and play!

Posted in Kids' Corner

I am lying in the thick grass of Hallam Lake in early July, trying not to fidget even though there is definitely a willow twig poking into my left calf.  I’ve given a group of five and six year olds a timer set for three minutes, told them to come find me when the time is up, and taken off running down the trail. Sure enough, just as I am getting way too itchy to hold still, I hear footsteps headed my way. Giggling, most of the group walks right by my hiding spot. It is the last child in line who spots me, excitedly calling out “Kendall! I see your red shirt! Is it my turn next?”


The ACES Ed Community Comes Together at Owl Nights

Posted in Kids' Corner

We recently wrapped up a series of “Owl Nights” ACES Ed events for Aspen Elementary School (AES) first graders at Hallam Lake. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) has hosted Owl Nights for over 30 years to celebrate the end of the first grade owl unit with our students, their families, and their classroom teachers. These events are one of my favorite elements of ACES Ed, and based on the reactions of attendees, it is a night not to be missed.


Roaring Fork Valley 4th Graders Study Forest Succession

Posted in Kids' Corner

What is ACES Ed? Every ACES Ed class is a hybrid. An average lesson is likely to be driven by a combination of Colorado science standards, local issues and ecology, tradition (at Aspen Elementary, we've taught tracking to 3rd graders for almost 35 years), and the individual inspiration of the educator. This month we have a new fuel source for the 4th grade curriculum: the forest health initiative being carried out by another branch of ACES, For the Forest.