Be Gone, Dreadful Cold!

If you’ve been paying attention to my past posts, you know I have been looking forward to the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference in Vancouver, B.C. that happens Thursday, Friday and Saturday. https://authorcynthiamackey.com/2020/02/17/counting-down-to-hundred-ways-of-thinking/

And of course, as timing would have it, I’ve come down with a nasty cold just days before the event. Sigh.

Green Tea with honey to soothe the throat

So now to make the cold go away as fast as possible…

I have done the following:

  • – 3 vitamin C boost drinks with 1,000 mg of vitamin C in each one
  • -warm salt water gargle twice
  • -breathing steam in the mornings
  • -eating oranges
  • -spoonfuls herbal cough syrup ( I had run out so I bought some today)
  • -drinking tons of tea

And I’m out of days to get better as tomorrow I get to take the ferry! Living on an island means lots of ferry travel. Here’s hoping for a restful sleep tonight.

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Have a wonderful day!

Counting Down to Hundred Ways of Thinking!

Okay, how many more sleeps until the Hundred Ways of Thinking Conference? I am so excited! Woot! Woot! And spring is almost here…

Spring is coming to Victoria!

Join Suzanne Axelsson from Sweden at our 2020 Conference for two days of playing, learning and reflecting! 

As luck would have it, I seem to be developing some mild flu symptoms just days before this wonderful conference. Ugh! Though I feel lucky for the family day weekend and the extra day to rest. I am filling up my body with vitamin C and hoping for the best! I did get the flu shot so fingers crossed.

Here’s the weather forecast for Vancouver. I know there’s been some snow so I am grateful for the slightly warmer temperatures. Looks like we will see Vancouver in it’s typical rainy fashion on Friday and Saturday.

Looks like we won’t see much sun over the weekend.

These conference organizers are amazing! Just look at what they sent out to everyone. They are so thoughtful. Which Vancouver restaurants should we try?

From the Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House organizers!

Four more sleeps and I get to go and visit my hometown! Yay! Though sadly, I won’t make it to North Vancouver, which is my absolute favourite place to visit. Not enough time. Sigh.

Stay tuned for more conference updates on the way!

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Sidney, B.C. Two Hundred Boxes!

About 5 years ago, when I first began working at Sidney Preschool, I introduced a new and special day to our program. I called it our Cardboard Box Extravaganza! We had our parents collect and bring in boxes and the children were give some simple materials to work with as well as an opportunity to use their creativity to go wherever their imaginations may take them with the collection of boxes. This was a huge hit! And each year proved to be a little different as new children and parents brought their own unique ideas to the event.

Small boxes can be great for creative minds as well.

And that is why it does my heart such good to see this event taking place in Sidney. Two Hundred Boxes is an event for the whole family and takes place February 16th from 10 am to 4 pm at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. I have no idea how this event came to be but what a wonderful opportunity for family and community engagement. Castles, towers, tunnels, neighbourhoods, forts, planes or trains could all be part of your experience as you work with the boxes. This event is totally free of charge. Kudos to the Community Arts Council for organizing!

And because I am a huge supporter of children’s literature, let me add a couple of great picture books that encourage creativity with cardboard boxes. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis and What To Do With a Box by Jane Yolen. Do you know some other great books on the same subject? Have you and your children created something amazing and wonderful with a cardboard box? Share in the comments.

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A Hundred Ways of Thinking: Weaving Dialogue and Technology Into Learning Spaces

I am so incredibly pumped for this conference! Thankfully, I was able to get a reduced rate on the ticket AND bursary money for hotel and transportation so … yes! I get the opportunity to be there.

And Suzanne Axelsson will travel here from Stockholm University so it literally could be a once in a lifetime opportunity. She focuses on the relevance of the Reggio Emilia Approach in education today. Suzanne is the individual behind Interaction Imagination. She has a blog about working with young children and the Reggio Emilia Approach.

STEM materials for tinkering

Friday will be about pedagogical documentation and the pedagogy of listening and Saturday will be about the role of technology in pedagogical spaces. The pedagogy of listening requires mindfulness and listening beyond simply hearing the sounds but with the intent to truly understand. And if that makes me sound like an early childhood education nerd… well, I guess that could be true.

And, I should have some time for a bit of fun too, since we end each day at 3 pm. Maybe I will get the chance to try out a cool Vancouver restaurant or two. My posts will probably be filled with conference updates, so be prepared. How many more sleeps until February 20th?

Your Child's Musical Literacy

Hey! I’m here to let you know that I’ll be at the Sidney Preschool giving a talk for parents about supporting your child’s musical literacy. This is geared for parents of young children and we’ll cover…

  • Why musical literacy is important
  • Research on music as it relates to brain development
  • Ways to support your child’s musical development
  • Starting your child in music lessons

Plus… you’ll actually experience the joy of musical learning in a group as we do a demonstration mini lesson. No musical skills required!

Join me on February 11th from 8-9 pm at Sidney Preschool on 2410 Malaview Avenue. Non-members of Sidney Preschool are welcome. Admission by donation. RVSP sidneypreschoolteacher@gmail.com

Family Literacy Week!

Did you know Family Literacy Week is January 26 – February 2 this year?

Supporting literacy does not require a lot of materials. It can be as simple as having conversations together, going for walks and noticing environmental print, reading a story or making a grocery list.

This year’s theme is “Read Together”.

Bookshelf at The Children’s Bookshop in Sidney, B.C.

Look here for some free downloadable resources you can use to support early literacy.

If you are local, you can also visit the Sidney Museum’s Lego Exhibit or at Mary Winspear, there’s a production of Matilda the Musical based on a story by Roald Dahl. Or look for similar opportunities in your home town. Family events like these are great for promoting literacy too.

How do you make literacy part of your family’s every day life? I hope you’ll share in the comments.

Victoria Art Gallery: Family Sunday!

Did you know that the Victoria Art Gallery features Family Sundays? https://aggv.ca/events/family-sunday-30/ The program happens on the third Sunday of the month and provides an opportunity for hands-on art making activities for all ages.

Art meets science with food color, dish soap and homogenized milk.

Sunday, January 19th from 2 pm to 4 pm at the Victoria Art Gallery at 1040 Moss Street.

What do you like to do on Sundays? Share in the comments!

Cover Reveal!

Drumroll please…. time for the cover reveal of our illustrated early chapter book titled the Lullaby Monsters coming in 2020!

Stay tuned for more information on pre-orders, book swag, release date and more! Go to my facebook page to sign up for my email list and receive notifications. You’ll receive a free downloadable resources for teachers and parents.

Synopsis: In this night time adventure, big sister Kelsey is always her brother’s hero. She bravely helps with lost teddy bears, scraped knees and favourite picnic foods. But when Thomas cannot sleep because of the lullaby monsters, Kelsey isn’t sure if she can help. Then Thomas’ precious lullaby box is stolen and Kelsey must face her monstrous fear. In doing so, she discovers that the lullaby monsters are a lot like Thomas.

Illustrations in progress by Paula Nasmith

The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” -Joseph Campbell

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Lego Inspiration at the Sidney Museum

Here’s a wonderful event that we are so lucky to have here in Sidney! On now through March at the Sidney Museum, there is a popular Lego Exhibition. https://sidneybia.ca/calendar-event/lego-exhibition/

A gift from one of my piano students!

Have a look at all of the displays and be inspired to see what you can create. At our house, we have quite a lego collection and though some of it is sorted into actual sets, much of it is a jumble. That really is no matter, though because the random pieces allow for new projects to emerge; ones that don’t match the picture on the box. And for some of us, it is best to work without an end product in mind and just see what unfolds.

The endless possibilities of lego.

So take your family to the Sidney Museum and see what creative potential may emerge. Do you have a photo of your own lego creation or one done by your kids? I’d love it if you’d share! Let’s see your lego creations.