Take "Just a Second" to read with your child!

"Just a Second: a different way to look at time" by Steve Jenkins will get your kids thinking about math in an entirely different way.

How many times do you think a hummingbird beats its wings in just one second? 10? 20? Steve Jenkins makes math irresistible in Just a Second: a different way to look at time. In one second, a hummingbird beats its wings 50 times. In one minute, a grizzly bear can charge one half-mile. Just a Second is full of information on time, measurement, math, and science, plus it’s visually captivating with Jenkins’ signature cut-paper art. His process in making the collages for his book is really cool, and you can see a video of how his books come together on his website: stevejenkinsbooks.com.

Before reading Just a Second, make some predictions with your kids, like how many breaths do you think an adult takes in one hour? (900!) After reading the book and checking your predictions, make and test some new predictions about time. How many jumping jacks can you do in one minute? How long will it take you to flap your arms 50 times like a hummingbird? Can you sit perfectly still and quiet for a full minute? You can compare kids’ results on charts or a graph. You can even make a pictograph of your family's results, and make cool representations of yourselves with cut-paper art. It may take a bit longer than “just a second”, but it will be time well spent.

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Heather May 31, 2012 at 12:36 AM
Just this morning we had a hummingbird at the feeder and 11 yo estimated 200 times per second. How fun to show him the answer without Google.
Kristen Remenar May 31, 2012 at 01:16 PM
I love when that happens, Heather! Yes, there are actually alternative sources besides Google for information, and just because it's online doesn't mean it's true. I love showing kids this website to prove that anyone can post anything online whether it's true or not. Google "endangered tree octopus" and you'll find all kinds of important-looking information about saving the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus, a completely made-up creature. Hooray for you for showing your son a way to find information he can trust, and in a really fun book!


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