Music and the Brain

Music and the Brain 

It has been proven that playing music in particular strengthens the motor, auditory and visual areas of the brain, as well as the connections between the right and left hemispheres. Also, “studies have shown that assiduous instrument training from an early age can help the brain to process sounds better, making it easier to stay focused when absorbing other subjects.” (Scientific American, “Hearing the Music, Honing the Mind”) 

In class we watched a Ted Ed video regarding the scientific discoveries of how music impacts the brain. Take a moment to watch this incredible TED video below.

Coffee And Conversation November Book Announced!


Join Mrs. George on Friday, November 10th @ 9:00 am.  We will discuss the book Laughing Allegra by Anne Ford. This beautifully written story will be sure to resonate with readers! Be sure to mark your calendars and join us!



When Anne Ford, great-granddaughter of Henry Ford, learned that her four-year-old daughter Allegra’s “differences” were the result of severe learning disabilities, she faced a challenge that neither money nor position could ease. Desperate for answers, Anne sought out doctors, teachers, counselors, and others who could help her build a support network for herself and her daughter, while fighting the many common misconceptions and myths about learning disabilities.

Now, in this fiercely honest and compelling memoir, Anne tells her story, writing movingly of her feelings as the mother of a learning disabled child. “I grew to accept that life is filled with uncertainty and that answers to the most simple, yet profound, questions such as ‘What is wrong with my daughter?’ can be elusive. I learned to be self-reliant in ways I never had before. I learned that every spark of optimism and hope was something to be nurtured and treasured because sometimes they were the only comfort available. And I learned that worry had entered my life.”

In time, Anne Ford saw her daughter grow into a vibrant, loving, and independent adult with a passion for ice skating and a commitment to help other disabled children. Allegra Ford, now 32, lives independently and supported this book’s publication so “it could help other kids.” Anne’s experience led her to become a tireless activist on behalf of children and families faced with LD, including her service as Chairman of the Board of the National Center for Learning Disabilities from 1989 to 2001, and the writing of this book with John-Richard Thompson, an award-winning playwright and novelist.

H.C. Andersen Blvd. Tales

H.C. Andersen Blvd. Tales 

Our fall production is underway, so we thought we'd give you a glimpse into the story of H.C. Andersen Blvd. Tales - an original script from Julie Pappas. 

Miss Z takes her students to Denmark to visit the famous Hans Christian Andersen statue on HC Anderson Blvd. George, who could care less about this educational opportunity, has a bad attitude, so Hans takes him on a virtual tour into the stories. Where will these adventures take us? 


More about H.C. Andersen Blvd. Tales performance 

Performances: December 13 at 7:00 PM and December 15 at 9:00 AM

Location: Theater at the Fort, 8920 Otis Avenue

Performers: Take ONE Performing Arts Company after school group and All students in Grades 2-8 will be a part of these performances. Please have your student wear ALL BLACK, shirt and pants or skirt for the performances.


Fun Activities That Develop Rhyme and Alliteration Awareness


October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Today we're back with the next part in our series of posts that have fun activities that support learning for all of our kids, but are particularly helpful for our students with dyslexia. If you find this article helpful, please share on social media and let's help raise awareness for dyslexia together! 

Rhyme and Alliteration Awareness

Rhyme and alliteration both involve words that share a common feature or sound. Hearing rhyme requires attention to the ending sound in words, while alliteration requires attention to the beginning. Activities that develop rhyming and alliteration help children develop an ear for sounds. They enable them to begin thinking about the sound properties of words as separate from the word’s meaning. For example, a pig is not only a farm animal, it is also a word that rhymes with wigand dig. With both rhyme and alliteration activities, children learn to first recognize, and then produce, words that end or begin the same way.


Activities to try at home to support rhyme and alliteration awareness


Reading books with rhyming words and then talking about the words that sound alike or rhyme or books with alliteration and discussion what sound they hear, is the best way to begin practicing these skills at home.

Odd Man Out

Help your child identify the word that does not rhyme or sound like the others. Present the words orally or using picture cards and have them identify the word that does not belong.


Community Education Night with Dr. Jennifer Horn


"What do kids have to worry about?": Dr Jennifer Horn, a clinical child psychologist in private practice specializing in anxiety disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders such as learning disorders, will provide an overview on what anxiety is/why people experience anxiety, and how anxious responding can magnify into anxiety. Dr Horn will focus exclusively on how anxiety presents in children and teens, and she will provide practical strategies that parents can do to help their child reduce than anxiety. 

There event is totally free, so invite your family and friends! 

Register for the event today

A Sneak Peak At the Week


English II

We will continue reading The Old Man and the Sea and studying vocabulary from the novella.

English IV

We will continue our study of The Importance of Being Earnest and vocabulary from the play.

Digital Arts

We will be starting a new assignment: Thankful Hands which will be displayed in November on the bulletin board by the front door.

Math Lab

We'll be reviewing how to find taxes, tips and discounts.



Biology and Anatomy/Physiology

Dissecting rats and completing lab write up


Finishing an experiment, writing up results, and completing research paper




We will be studying Canadian Culture and Provinces.


We are building our own Constitution.  

Career/College Planning

We will be working on Career Interests.



Pre Calculus

We are solving for an unknown side of a triangle using trig functions and the trig table.

Algebra II

We are going over converting numbers to scientific notation, and how to combine them using multiplication and division.

Algebra I

We are working on solving two step equations and how to check your work.


We are finishing up our lesson over the different types of angles and how to classify them.



Communication and Public Speaking

Putting final touches on our ‘Show me what YOU know’ speeches on Monday. The students have each selected a portion of the second unit and will be presenting it to the class on Tuesday the 3rd. In doing so, they will be helping one another prepare for the Unit 2 test on Thursday the 5th.



LA Lab

We will continue using text evidence to find the main idea.

Studio Arts

We are finishing up our watercoloring unit with nature inspired watercolor paintings.



L/A Lab I, II

We are continuing our review of suffix addition rules, negative prefixes, and adding some common adjective suffixes.

Test next Thursday, 10/5 on suffix addition rules.

English 1

Label and Diagram sentences with Direct Objects test on Tuesday, 10/3.

Continue reading The Old Man and the Sea.

Practice writing sentences with imagery.  Introduce Indirect Objects.




Introduction to sexual health class, setting up resource binder, initial assessment.



English 1

Choose a current article to read and summarize in the 11-sentence paragraph format.

Review simple and compound sentence types as well as fragments and run-ons.

English 3

Choose a current article to read and summarize in the 11-sentence paragraph format.

Review compound and complex sentence types as well as comma placement.

English 4

Choose a current article to read and summarize in the 11-sentence paragraph format.

Review compound and complex sentence types as well as comma placement.

Visual Arts

Students continue working on cubism paintings using tints and shades of their chosen set of complimentary colors.


Continue working on Photography Types and Techniques and Elements and Principles slideshows.  Take photos and add them on Friday.

Fun Activities That Support Phonemic Awareness At Home

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. Today we begin a series of posts that have fun activities that support learning for all of our kids, but are particularly helpful for our students with dyslexia. If you find this article helpful, please share on social media and let's help raise awareness for dyslexia together!

What Is Phonemic Awareness?

Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear and manipulate individual sounds (phonemes) in words. Children must first understand that words are made up of separate speech sounds that can be blended together to make words before they functionally use the alphabet to spell or read words. It is a foundational skill that makes learning to read easier, and often one of the best indicators of reading success in the coming years.

Phonological awareness is the ability to divide spoken language into units, such as words and syllables. Before diving into individual sounds within words (phonemic awareness), the goal is to  teach children to pay attention to more obvious sounds. A good place to start is environmental noises, then move into sentences, whole words, and then syllables. Only after a child can divide words into syllables do we start teaching the phonemic awareness part of our curriculum.

Activities to try at home to support an increased awareness of sounds and syllables:

Tapping Syllables

Using different items such as hand clappers, drums, or tennis rackets you can have children determine the number of syllables in a given word. For example, you would tap a drum two times for the word "sister" because it has two syllables. For increased difficulty, tap the drum (any number of times) and have your child think of a word that contains that same number of syllables.

Home Syllable Search

Help your child find items in different rooms in your home. Sort them by syllables.  Write words (or draw pictures) for each object.



Things Will Look A Little Different In October

Things Will Look A Little Different In October

Words can fail the dyslexic brain. Sometimes our students have difficulty finding the words that properly express what they are trying to say. This is why we believe so strongly in our visual arts program. It creates an outlet for our students to express themselves in brilliant and often unexpected ways. 

In case you haven't heard, October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. But it's also National Arts and Humanities Month as well. Every day throughout the month of October, we will be updating our homepage to showcase student art work through the years. We will be celebrating the many ways our students have used visual art as a way for personal expression. We hope you check back often and enjoy new pieces every day! 

But that's not all we are doing for Dyslexia Awareness Month. Join us on social media as we will be sharing more from our community to help spread awareness. You can "like" or "share" these posts to get the message out! You'll also find new blog posts right here on our News page.  


Jr. High Camp Tecumseh Trip

Jr. High Camp Tecumseh Trip

With the leaves changing and the temperatures cooling, it's that time of year where our 7th and 8th grade students are getting excited about this year's trip to Camp Tecumseh! Students, staff and volunteers will be gone October 24th and 25th for an adventure at the camp.  

Camp Tecumseh is a YMCA Outdoor Center located in northwest Indiana. The Tippecanoe River borders the camp. Camp Tecumseh is located in Brookston, Indiana. We participate in an outdoor education program called, The Foundations for Success. This program focuses on team building through the use of "life skills" - Trust, Problem Solving, Leadership, Self-Confidence, and Communication. Our students have had such an incredible time in year's past, and we expect this year to be no different! 



Learn more about Camp Tecumseh

American Folk Music and Folk Tales

American Folk Music and Folk Tales

The Performing Arts in America have evolved over the last 400 years. It is fun to remind students that ONCE UPON A TIME, we didn’t have any form of electronic entertainment. So how did people fill their time, other than with back breaking work? By getting together to share traditional music and stories passed down through generations. In fact, music in America evolved from three distinct genres brought by groups of immigrants in its formative years: Irish/Scots folk music, traditional African music, and European Christian Hymns.

We are exploring the development of these forms through singing songs like “Boil them Cabbage Down”, and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”, as well as creating percussion patterns for accompaniment.


In Drama students are learning about the author Joel Chandler Harris and his Uncle Remus tales. Once again, these folk stories were handed down through an oral tradition brought to America by Africans. Students listen to the stories, evaluate the emotions expressed by each character, and then act them out in pantomime form.

These opportunities develop skills in identifying rhythmic patterns and notation, analyzing the playability of created patterns, and consistency in production of beat patterns. In addition, students are experimenting and observing how to act for an audience with expressive facial expressions, and precise hand and body movements. 


Julie Pappas

Sneak Peak at the Week

We're looking forward to another great week. Here's a look at what is coming up in our high school classes this week. 



This week we are going to be continuing our discussion about body language and non-verbal communication. Discussing 'Power Posing' and maybe sharing some ideas on how to use this super power!

By the middle of the week I will have introduced the concept graph depicting communication as 2 WAY process. Together we will start to identify all the different kinds of barriers that can interrupt this process (i.e. noise, age and gender gaps, language and cultural differences).


English IV

Continue reading The Importance of Being Earnest and studying vocabulary from the play.

Digital Arts

Finish our October bulletin board on famous dyslexics who have shaped our futures.

Math Lab

We'll be learning more about fractions and their equivalent percents.


English I

We are learning about the different types of Symbolism and how it relates to The Old Man and the Sea. Writing:  What are Direct Objects within a sentence and how do we label/diagram them?

Language Arts Lab I and II

(9-25) test (L/A Lab I) on prefixes, roots, suffixes.  We will be adding the negative prefixes and learning the 2+1+1 spelling rule.  An introduction to the P.O.W.E.R. way of writing will be presented as well.  


Pre Calculus

We will be using the trig table to find lengths of sides or measure of angles

Algebra 2

We are learning how to combine numbers in scientific notation.

Algebra 1

We are working on solving one variable equations.


We are working on types of angles.


Biology/Anatomy and Physiology

Finishing their comparative Anatomy/Biology project that is due Wednesday. We should be starting dissecting a rat this week.


Learning about research and designing a psychology research project to be implemented in the next few weeks.



We will be working on the Canadian Provinces.  

Career/College Planning

We will be working on budgeting for an apartment after high school.


We will be working on the U.S. Constitution.



Chapter 4-Mental Disorders, Eating Disorders, Depression and Suicide; Quiz Friday the 29th.


English 1

Introduction to American Poetry, explore the different poetry types.

English 3

Read and listen to the audio version of "Cannibalism in the Cars" by Mark Twain- one of three short stories written by Mark Twain, chosen by the class, work on plot outline for story.

English 4

Read and listen to the audio version of "The Importance of Being Earnest" by Oscar Wilde, work on plot outline for story.


Review close-up versus extreme close-up photography, continue working on assigned Lifetouch pages for the yearbook, start working on yearbook design covers using the Pixelmator app.

Visual Arts

Start final drawings of chosen object for cubism painting, add geometric lines on top of foreground and background, decide which set of complementary colors to use.

From the Dean's Desk - NHS

National Honor Society

Fortune Academy is going through the annual process of selecting new members for the National Honor Society.  At Fortune, Juniors and Seniors who have a 3.0 GPA are eligible for induction.  In keeping with the bylaws of the Society, here is the timetable that we using this year for selection.

For the week of 9-19-17 eligible students will be identified we will meet briefly during Intensive Study  to hand out applications and go over the details of filling out and returning the applications.   

All Applications will be due on Friday, September 22nd. 

For the week of 9-24-17 the Fortune Administration and H.S. staff will evaluate and vote on the applications.

For the week of 10-2-17 the results of the nominating process will be discuss with each applicant individually.  

If any student is elected to the National Honor Society we will have a ceremony the following week with friends and family.  


With Fortune Pride, 

Jim O'Donnell



Accommodations to help us along


I have been away from my Fortune family for the last few weeks recuperating from surgery. Today was my first day back. Boy am I ever relieved to be back here running through the halls. I have missed everyone so much.  

 During my time at home I started  thinking about how sometimes we need some accommodations to help us do the things we need to. Like I needed a soft bed to rest on, so I could heal.  Unfortunately, I needed to wear "the cone of shame" to help me not bother my surgery site. On the bright side, though, my owners gave me a lot of special attention. I needed that extra love during my tough time.  

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 3.34.31 PM.png

 While I had to be accommodated physically, students need to be accommodated in their learning.  Teachers do give them a lot of special attention that is exactly what they need to learn. Such as asking the students specific questions or giving them information  that will help them know exactly what to do. Teachers will not put as many math problems on a page, so there is more room to do the work. Visual supports, anchor charts, graphic organizers and checklists all help students be able to complete a task with confidence. Students also use technology to help them with written expression.  If only I had hands instead of paws so I could write them a letter, or if I could talk and use the speech to text app.  A talking that would be quite the accommodation.  Then I could really get some things done around here.  

A New Look For High School Gym


Attention High School Parents: our high school gym uniforms are now online! Visit Land’s End to check out our new gear. Do you have a student participating in Fortune Academy athletics? We also have warm-up jackets and pants available as well to help you stay warm when the temperatures begin to drop. They're are also fun to wear on game days or spirit wear days!


Also, if you order today, you can save 25% on your purchase by using the Code: BRISK and PIN: 6149. The offer is only good for the day, so don't wait. 

Order today!



A Great Start to a Great Day

Our school community warms my heart. It is a special place indeed! Mornings begin with administrators waving, smiling, and giving hugs - welcoming our students to school. Mr. Chip can be found at one of the doors playing his harmonica or using a microphone to welcome students on campus. Teachers are waiting at the classroom doors making sure all students are greeted with a warm welcome. And that is just the start of a very typical day at Fortune.

What else is very special are our parents, grandparents and school board members who lend a hand on campus. You will find them volunteering in the lunchroom, building chair racks, listening to children read, or going on field trips. Fortune Academy has volunteers on campus every day. These helping hands are an important part of our school community.  I am honored to lead such a special school.


Yours for Fortune, 

Janet George

That was easy

Remember the Staples Easy Button? "That was easy," runs through my head every time I think about our four ongoing shopping fundraisers. Our small school community can literally raise thousands and thousands of dollars just by shopping with pre-purchased gifts cards from Scrip, using your Kroger Plus Shoppers Card, ordering from the AmazonSmile page, and clipping Box Tops. No kidding! If every Fortune family ordered just one Lands' End $100 Gift Card to purchase uniforms, the school would earn $1440.00! And that’s just one of over 350 Indianapolis area restaurants and retailers from which to choose. Just think how much you could give back to Fortune by purchasing gift cards from the places you frequent.

Recently I looked up my personal school contribution from Kroger. Scanning my Kroger Plus card each time I shopped there, I earned the school over $50 in one year. And all I did was select the school at Now do you see why "That was easy," runs through my head all the time? So go ahead - push that Easy button and start shopping for Fortune Academy. Scrip order forms along with information on the other three fundraisers went home with students on Friday. Additional order forms and information are available at the front desk. 

And oh yeah, if Fortune collects $350.00 of Box Tops by November 1, 2017 students will receive a “Dress Down” Day in November. See complete list of participating products.


That was easy.

Reaching for Success


Students with learning differences may have challenges with understanding what behaviors are appropriate in school. Knowing and consistently applying appropriate school behavior equates to a successful school experience. It is the task of parents and teachers working together to educate our children through direct instruction, modeling, and consistent reinforcement of rules and acceptable behaviors. Doing so entrenches the rules and actually gives our students a sense of freedom. The rules are predictable and students can actually enjoy what is necessary- learning and success in the classroom.

Give visual examples of what behaviors you are seeking. Then be consistent, model, and stick with rule reinforcement. And remember, it takes lots of practice to change a behavior. It's never to late to jump right in.

Yours for Fortune, 

Janet George