River Valley School sponsored a fun-filled activity that taught our families some literacy strategies often used in school. Students and their families read The Homework Machine and prepped at home by coding text as they read, then they met in a “book club” format for discussion and activities. The event was hugely successful, with over 300 attendees!
The Homework Machine, by Dan Gutman, is a very entertaining book about an unlikely foursome of students, the D-Squad, who are bound together by a secret – a machine named “Belch” that completes their homework for them! Before long, things get out of control and “Belch” becomes more powerful than they had imagined!
Over 30 staff members from River Valley helped out with the event with leadership facilitation from the school Reading Specialists. Reading specialist, Colleen McNaughton commented that the book allowed for ample discussion from the kids. She added “the kids were able to apply the strategy of annotating text” during the event. Jill Ermitage and Liz Janusz, also reading specialists, emphasized that the activity supplemented instruction at school regarding point of view.
That evening, the kids and their parents met in small discussion groups led by River Valley teachers. Afterwards, they enjoyed an activity together; each group created a project showing “eyeglasses” to emphasize the “perspective” that was discussed. Every student who participated in the event left with a prize and pair of sunglasses. The students were asked their opinions and the overwhelming majority of the kids enjoyed the book and will read more books by author, Dan Gutman.