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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Play, Outdoor Learning, and Raising Physically and Mentally Healthy Children

This video is a wonderful collection of comments on children’s play by some incredibly articulate human beings. If you want to understand why play is so valuable, you must watch this. Adults need to trust children to manage their own play and learning, not try to control it!

If you have children in your life, if you are a parent, grandparent, teacher, librarian or school administrator, I encourage you to take 20 minutes of your time and watch this video. Topics such as risk, outdoor play, natural environments, kindergarten readiness and self-chosen activities are covered.

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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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Royal Conservatory of Music: Benefits of Music Education

Royal Conservatory of Music research showed that the brains of musically trained individuals had more grey matter, had stronger neural connections, higher IQ, better memory, better attention, and better motor coordination.

Benefits of music education included

  • improved language abilities
  • increased emotional resilience
  • increased empathy
  • increased attention span and focus
  • increased self-confidence

These are some great reasons to advocate for music instruction in public schools. Keep the music programs going! There’s plenty of research to show this is a good idea.

Royal Conservatory of Music Paper on the Benefits of Music Education https://rcmusic-kentico-cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/rcm/media/main/documents/about%20us/rcm_musiceducation

Let's Build Each Other Up!

Hey parents! Have you ever been out in public and experienced the judgement of complete strangers in relation to something you are doing or have done in your role as a parent? I’ve been there many times.

“Your baby has too many layers on.”

“Why isn’t your child wearing a hat for sun protection?”

“Do you always give in when he cries?”

This comes under that category of “if you can’t think of something kind to say, don’t say anything at all.” Remaining quiet would be better than expressing your judgement of a situation in which you likely have limited understanding.

Instead, let’s express some appreciation for the parents we know. How about, “She’s/he’s lucky to have such an attentive, loving parent.” or “I can tell how much you love your child.”

Why is it so much easier to judge than to express appreciation for people? Look for what you appreciate and let a dedicated mom or dad know. Parents work so hard; tell them know you really see them. Let’s build each other up!

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