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.


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

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.  

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 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.  

Join Us For Our Spotlight Breakfast

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Join us Wednesday, September 27, 2017 for our Spotlight Breakfast! In fact, bring a friend, invite your family! 

7:45am to 9:30am

Janet George, Head of School, will present an insightful simulation that will challenge the way you see our students. Attendees will experience what school can feel like for those with learning differences.  This impactful presentation is a must for anyone who interacts regularly with a child with learning differences. See and feel what life through the eyes of our students is like. 

Parents – you are encouraged to invite family and friends that you believe would benefit from gaining more insight about learning differences. We are making this event free to be able to reach as many people as we can. Please register online using the link below, we can't wait to see you there! 


Working at the car wash, yeah!


History Lesson of the Day:  The song Car Wash, performed by Rose Royce in 1976, was written by Norman Whitfield, who also wrote other classics like, "I Heard It Through The Grape Vine," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," and "War." Just to name a few. The guy was a hit making machine.

And we certainly can't get "Car Wash" out of our head because...

The Middle School will be having fun washing cars Friday, September 8th, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm. Tell your friends! Proceeds will go to offset the cost of their overnight, educational adventure at Camp Tecumseh in October. If you or your student participates, we are offering a discount for the trip. Cool! Sign up to volunteer using the link below. 

We are working hard to promote this fundraiser and hope to have record participation from the community. We will need all hands on deck to make sure the car wash runs efficiently and effectively. We hope you are able to join us and contribute to the needed supplies.


Rain date will be September 15th.



Tales From Astro: The Planning Pup

When I was sniffing around in the classrooms this week I came across a wonderful tool the students use in school that I think will really help me get things done.  My discovery is called the planner, also known as an agenda. The students use it everyday to write down what they need to do for homework each night.  They can also write down notes about what they need to bring to school like a box for a project or a dog bone for a super cute , cuddly dog they know.  Parents can also use the planner to communicate with the teacher.  They can alert them about upcoming doctor appointments, ask questions about their student, or let the teacher know of a struggle the student might have had by while completing work.  

I think this planner could be a game changer for me.  It could help me stay super organized and plan out how much time I have to get things done.  My agenda might look something like this:  



Writing items down helps the students process what needs to be done and helps them think about how much time they need to set aside to complete the tasks on the list.  It also helps them prioritize and put items in order of importance.   This task really assists them with their executive functioning skills.  And if I get some extra treats and dog bones out of the deal, I would be one happy dog.  

Tales from Astro: our school dog

The first week of school was amazing. There's no smell I love better than the beginning of school.   I was so happy to be back with all the students. I am amazed at how well they got back into the school routine again. I enjoy getting attention from them, but when the teacher is talking they kind of ignore me, which I guess is okay. The students have been preparing for the upcoming solar eclipse.  They even made a sun out of cake and licorice to help them understand that the sun has many different layers. They didn't offer me a bite of it, though...I need to train them better that dogs like human treats too.  As part of their earth science unit, the Jr High has been learning the science behind why an eclipse occurs and the different stages of the eclipse. All Lower School students are looking forward to various activities on Monday as we watch this great natural phenomena. I hope they remembered to get a pair of NASA approved glasses that are dog sized.


Yep. We remembered.