The Art of Storytelling

The Art of Storytelling // www.cornerstonechristianschool.net

We are thrilled to have Mrs. Rounds with us today sharing her thoughts on crafting an amazing story. Read on to learn all about storytelling, from the initial ideas, to piecing the narrative together!

     The Art of Storytelling. (Which is just a fancy way of saying that a really great story needs some planning so that your audience will say, “Wow! What a great story!”)

    Think about your favorite childhood fairy tale. When you were little, those magical words “Once upon a time…” opened the door to a world of wonder and excitement and fantasy which you didn’t know existed. Dragons! Princesses! Evil queens! Swords! Handsome princes! And no tale would be complete without those wonderful words at the end: “…and they lived happily ever after.” But as we grow up, we realize that someone creates all these spellbinding stories – and that someone could be you!

    One of the most important things to remember as you tell your own imaginative story is that you need to do some preparation. When you start out on a trip, you need to know not only where you’re going but what route to follow and what you will encounter along the way. In the same way, when you start a story, you need a beginning, a middle, and an end. You can’t just wing it and hope for the best. You wouldn’t just start driving down any old road hoping that Disneyland is at the end of it. You can’t just start writing hoping that a great story is at the end of it. You need a plan.

You need to include the answers to these questions in your story plan. Ask yourself:

  • Who is my main character? What does he or she look like? What kind of person is he or she?
  • Who are my supporting characters? What role do they play in the story?
  • What is the main action of the story? Where does this action take place?
  • What is the beginning of my story? What happens next? Have I created a satisfying and interesting end for my story? Did I just stop in the middle or did I remember to wrap everything up at the end?

     And here are a few final hints about creating a great, spellbinding story that will make your readers want more. Check all of the details like grammar and punctuation and word choices. Try not to use the same words every time. Instead of “pretty”, say gorgeous, beautiful, enchanting, attractive, lovely, or any other phrase which shows that this person is not your average-looking human being. Ask someone you trust to read your story and give you feedback. Accept help if you’re having trouble with parts of your story – ask for advice and then make your changes.

    But the most important thing of all for good storytelling is to tell your own story. Don’t try to copy anyone else. Have faith and confidence in your imagination. Have fun writing and enjoy yourself. If you have fun writing, your readers will have fun reading. And you – and everyone – will live happily ever after!

Homework Battle - Three Tips for an Easier Homework Experience

Homework Battle - Three Tips for an Easier Homework Experience // Cornerstone Christian School

Ah, homework. The dreaded back-to-school battle that so many parents face. Students begin homework at an early age, Kindergarten for us at Cornerstone, and so often as parents we find ourselves reminding, asking, and nearly bribing our children to please just get it done.

We believe instilling a routine early on, that is repeated each year, helps students to know what to expect upon arriving at home, and in turn, will make the homework battle an easy one to win.

Here are three tried and true tips to make for an easier homework experience.

1. FUEL THEM

Having healthy snack options ready gives students a burst of energy, and if possible, have these snacks ready for them as they walk in the door. Some good options are: string cheese, a hard boiled egg, pretzels, fruit, veggies & Ranch, or a handful of almonds. Perhaps select with your student a special after school snack they don't get any other time, this will make it all the more exciting as they sit down to prepare for their work.

2. SUPPLIES AT HAND

There isn't anything more overwhelming than searching for a ruler, markers, or even a sharpened pencil when it is homework time. Depending upon your child's grade, the homework supplies will vary. Kindergartners will need everything from a glue stick to crayons, while your middle schooler could use a calculator, or even a computer. Creating a homework station, or even small box of supplies on hand near your table, can make the process that much smoother.

3. LIMIT DISTRACTION

Limiting distraction, especially when you have multiple students in your home of a variety of grade levels, you will find some finish quicker than others. Setting the ground work early on with some after school rules, will keep everyone distraction-free. Some examples would be:

- No TV until everyone is finished.

- Quiet voices in the house.

- Allow your sibling to finish their work before engaging in distracting conversation.


Do you have any tips that work for your family? Please share in the comments below!


 

A Day in the Life - Fifth Grade

Every month we will be featuring a day in the life of one of our students! This month we are thrilled to introduce you to Ethan, brand new Fifth Grader. We followed Ethan around for the day, to get a glimpse into what a school looks like for this Cornerstone Cougar.

A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

8:15 am

When I arrive at school I first go to my locker, then I head into class to start my day. Mrs. Hight has us write in our agenda, bring it to her, and then we start our daily journal.

 
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

9:00 am

We work on our spelling pre-test and study. It's a practice test, and if we pass it, we really don't have to do anything tomorrow. By the way, I definitely passed it.

 
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

10:30 am

My favorite part of recess is having fun with my friends. We play Lava Monster, which means tag.

 
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

12:15

For Reading Comprehension we have a time limit, we read all of the page, and then answer questions on the back.

 
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

2:00

In Science we are learning about life cycles. Today we played a guessing game where everyone brought in a baby picture, and we had to try to figure out which baby was who. It was a lot of fun, and I got a ton of them right.

 
A Day in the Life of an Elementary Student // Cornerstone Christian School

3:15

Carline! Time to go home! I sit here with my classmates and wait for my mom to pick me up, if she has a meeting I go to EDM.

Lunch Box Joke Cards

Because, who doesn't want to know what the grape said to the elephant?

Lunch Box Joke Cards // FREE download // Cornerstone Christian School

School lunches are once again in session, unless of course you use our awesome lunch vendors, Choice Lunch. For those of you who find yourselves in lunch-packing mode, we've created some adorable, downloadable, lunch box joke cards. Simply print, cut, and toss in your child's lunch box!

DOWNLOAD HERE & HERE

 

 

5 Tips for Amazing Back to School Photos

A brand new school year is upon us. For most that means school supplies, uniforms, and yes, lots of back to school photos. Today we're sharing five tried and true tips to taking the best back to school photos.

Back to School Photo Tips // Cornerstone Christian School

1. Light

It's no secret that light will make or break your photos. When you go to shoot your back to school portraits, whether before the big day, or that morning, think for a moment about the direction of light.

Even lighting makes for the most flattering images. When the sun is high and directly overhead, you end up with squinty eyes and dark shadows across those precious faces.

First look for indirect light, the shade of a tree, or beneath your porch. If you can't avoid harsh light, simply turn your subject so the light is behind them, this enables softer light across their face.

2. Kill the Flash

Which leads me to my next point, the flash is not your friend. Whether it be your iPhone or fancy camera, turn that baby off. Not only does it wash out skin tones, but leaves the eyes with a glare.

Natural light is always the best. You'd be surprised at how much light you can let inside by turning the blinds, pulling back the curtains, or positioning your child next to the sliding glass door. The simple trick of switch your flash off, takes a snapshot, to a portrait.

3. Crop + Zoom With Your Feet

Did you know the crop tool/ zoom can be a danger zone? When you crop your image after shooting it, especially if it is a significant amount, you're losing precious pixels. The same goes when you pinch your camera phone "lens" to zoom in. Have you ever wondered why an image went from fabulous to fuzzy? Likely you lost most of the resolution after you cropped it down/zoomed too far, to fill the frame with your little one.

Instead of cropping post-shooting, or even zooming in, move into your subject with your feet (ie: step closer to them and fill the frame with them while shooting).

4. Clear the Clutter

One of the simplest, and easiest ways to take a nice back to school portrait is to make sure your student is the star of the show. If you're shooting in your back yard say, be sure to move bikes and basketballs out of the frame. Instead, place your children against a fence, in a clear zone, or near the flower bed. The less clutter that's in your picture, the more your student will shine.

Taking a few moments before shooting to clear the clutter, will make a world of difference.

5. Details

Last but certainly not least are the details. The brand new shoes, this years lunch box, perhaps just the detail of them holding their backpack, or even a class ring for your upperclassman - these are the moments and details you'll soon forget, so be sure to include them in your back to school shooting!


Have you downloaded your free First Day of School signs? Click here to get your own! Simply print at home, or at your local office store! We hope you enjoy, and are looking forward to seeing your Back to School images this year!

FREE First Day of School Signs

How would you like a free Back to School download? What about fourteen of them? Simply print these PDFs at home, or at your local office store! Preschool to Senior Year, we've got you covered. We hope you enjoy, and look forward to seeing your Back to School images this year!

DOWNLOAD HERE

Back to School Books for Your Little Ones

Back to School Books // Cornerstone Christian School

Starting a new school often introduces new worries and fears. Moving from preschool to Kindergarten, and Kindergarten to First Grade can be a challenging and sometimes scary time for little ones.

Introducing the idea of a new class, with books, is a great way to gently encourage your child that only good things lie ahead!

We've compiled a few favorites to share with you!

Entering Preschool

How Do Dinosaurs Go to School? is an adorable and funny read by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. This book brings humor along with sharing what behaviors are and aren't acceptable in school.

 

 

 

Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney is a darling book about a young llama who is hesitant to leave his mother on the first day of school. Soon, he has had such a fun day, he's forgotten all about his worrisome morning.

 

Entering Kindergarten

For decades, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, has been a timeless and well-loved story to encourage children on their first day of school. Mrs. Racoon shares her family secret, the Kissing Hand, to offer her young racoon the assurance in a time he is feeling worried and anxious.

Kindergarten Rocks! by Katie Davis shares the story of Dexter, who claims he isn't scared a bit of his new class. His stuffed dog, however, is. This story shares how sometimes children find comfort, and solutions to their problems, within the comfort of a favorite toy.

 

Entering First Grade

Junie B., First Grader (at last!) by Barbara Park continues to follow the hilarious Junie B. Jones as she enters First Grade. Everything is new and strange to her, made even more confusing when she considers the possibility that she may need glasses. This funny and enjoyable read is a great way to prepare your little one for big and exciting challenges ahead.

Natasha Wing's The Night Before First Grade is a funny twist on the classic story by Clement C. Moore. Penny is just fine preparing for school, but is taken off guard when she learns she and her best friend aren't in the same classroom. It has an adorable ending that will help to calm those first day nerves.