Linda McCallister

The Astonishing Time Machine

The Astonishing Time Machine is about the children in Mrs. Williams’ gifted classroom. All of the children are really smart and ahead of their peers in their regular classroom studies, which is why they get to attend Mrs. Williams’ class. This is the second book in a series about her classroom and the children she teaches.

Pictures of the children in her class are shown at the beginning of the book so that the reader can visualize them as they read the book. The illustrations provide a fun way to see the story through the use of cartoon characters.

Cole and his best friend, Hayden, are the main characters in this book. While the reader is filled with incidents of pranks and inventions by Cole, this informative book is meant to encourage children to learn for the sake of learning. Readers of this book will begin to see the personalities of the other students and how they add to the learning that takes place.

Mrs. Williams uses a great deal of research and student projects in her teaching. The theme of countries continues in this book. After learning about England, France, and Germany in The Magical Gingerbread House, Mrs. Williams’ students continue by studying Mexico, the U.S.S.R., and India in this book. Learning for the sake of learning becomes fun as students are able to make suggestions for related classroom learning. They are encouraged to take what they learn in class and expand it into projects and presentations. Mrs. Williams encourages these out-of-class projects by providing time for students to show their classmates what they have learned. She also provides students with character lessons that she prints on the board after they present to the class.


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