We had a wonderful time at the National Aviary last Tuesday! We learned about birds from all over the world, and how their adapations in beaks, feathers and feet have helped them to thrive in their habitats. It was so much fun! Many thanks to Isaiah’s mom Kim, Emme’s mom Ruth, Maya’s mom Amanda and Felicia’s mom Fawn for chaperoning.
 
We are also working on our invertebrate research. The eight phyla that are being researched are Porifera (sponges), Cnidaria (anemones and jellyfish), Platyhelminth (flatworms), Nematoda (round worms), Annelida (earthworms), Echinodermata (starfish et al.), Mollusca (shellfish and octopi) and Arthropods (spiders and insects).
 
In our saga of Odysseus, the “grey-eyed goddess” Athena begins to take pity on Odysseus’ sad plight. (He is all alone, and has spent ten years on his voyage home so far. And his luggage, plus quite a few of his men, were eaten by the monster Scylla.) Athena appears to his now-grown son Telemachus in the guise of Mentor, and gives him wise advice and counsel. (Now I know that this is where the word mentor comes from!) Telemachus has set sail to find news of his father, or else one of the many suitors camping in the family courtyard will marry his mom, Penelope. They are all complete jerks, so we are rooting for Telemachus!
 
Our Field Trip to the Carnegie Museum of Art is next Thursday, February 8.
We will be leaving the school at 9:15, and we plan on returning at 1:30.  
   – Please make sure that your child eats a filling breakfast. A small snack may be eaten before we leave.
   – Please make sure that your child arrives on time. We cannot hold the bus for late arrivals.
   – Please make sure that your child’s lunch is in a DISPOSABLE container with NO HEAT-UPS.
 
Our next field trip will be to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History on  Thursday, March 8 – Permission slips will be coming out in a few weeks.
 
Our Spaghetti Dinner Gift Tree has had its first donations! – Many thanks to the families of Hanna Singhi, Albert Zhang and Kiryl Komar for their donations to our Family Fun Night Out gift card tree, via Sign Up Genius! The Elementary Gift Card Tree is always a tremendously popular raffle item for the Spaghetti Dinner. It not only earns a great amount in donations, but it is an exciting win for a very lucky family! Please consider donating a gift card to make Elementary’s contribution to the Spaghetti Dinner truly fantastic. Send in your gift card donation with your child to your child’s teacher by Wednesday, February 28. Or sign up via Sign Up Genius!
Some FREE things to do on these cold winter days:
– The Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History are FREE on the the third Sunday of each month, for all of 2018. For more details click here.
– The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts is hosting a Tibetan Sand Mandala construction Feb. 4-9. The opening ceremony, including kids’ activities, is Sunday at 10am, and you can watch the monks, with great focus and patience, construct the mandala each day until the dissolution ceremony on Friday. For more details, click here.