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Seasonal Changes at Basalt Elementary School

In ACES Ed class at Basalt Elementary School, students have the opportunity to observe and experience the amazing transformations that plants undergo throughout the school year. The school garden, trees, bushes and the nearby Frying Pan River are our backdrops for gauging what is happening in the natural world every day.

As an ACES Educator, it is my job to nurture the students observational skills and teach them about these seasonal changes. As a personal experiment and potential teaching tool, I have been taking a picture of four areas around Basalt Elementary School each week in hopes of capturing these subtle changes in a school year. 

The four locations I have chosen feature different subjects or scenes. 

Location number one: The Lilac Bush

Location number two: the view towards Sloane Mountain/Ruedi Reservoir 

Location number three: Red Brick Building yard

Location number four: The Crab Apple Tree

I’ve been designing this experiment with a particular unit in mind. In the spring, ACES Ed second graders focus on plant adaptations. The unit incorporates the Colorado Science Standard: how the weather and the changing seasons impact the environment, plants, and humans. I intend to have the students study the photos that I have been compiling throughout the year, and record what differences and changes they observed in the photos, and compare with what the plant is doing in real-time.  

My experiment is the beginning of a phenological record of plants around Basalt Elementary School. It is also an opportunity to slow down the seasonal changes for the eyes of a second grader. My hope is that this experiment will help my students be more connected to and observant of their surroundings!

~ Andrea Klaphake, ACES Educator