Each month #slowchathealth features a book of the month. Sometimes this will be chosen by myself but usually it will be based upon the recommendations of my PLN. Each month I’ll update this blog post so that the most recent book of the month is featured.
Roll Call – Past #slowchathealth Books of the Month
Atomic Habits by James Clear (10/18)
A New York Times best-seller, Atomic Habits has so much in it that transfers into the health classroom. The book is packed with evidence-based self-improvement strategies. Clear has spent years honing the art and studying the science of habits, and has created THE guide you need to break bad routines and make good ones.
Habits are the compound interest of self-improvement. The same way that money multiplies through compound interest, the effects of your habits multiply as you repeat them. They seem to make little difference on any given day and yet the impact they deliver over the months and years can be enormous. It is only when looking back two, five, or perhaps ten years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.
No matter your goals, Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for getting 1% better every day, empowering you to master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.
Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv (9/18)
“I like to play indoors better ’cause that’s where all the electrical outlets are,” reports a fourth-grader. Never before in history have children been so plugged in-and so out of touch with the natural world.
From the co-founder of The Children and Nature Network, the author directly links the lack of nature in the lives of today’s wired generation – he calls it nature deficit – to some of the most disturbing childhood trends, such as rises in obesity, Attention Deficit Disorder and depression.
This book resonated with me as a veteran #PhysEd teacher who has seen a change in student attitudes towards play, and being outside, but it resonated with me more as a parent of two young children. As someone who is privileged enough to have access to woods, trails, rivers etc it has made me more determined to ensure that my own kids have an increased opportunity to spend more time outside.
Healthy Brain, Happy Life by Wendy Suzuki (8/18)
Recommended to me by my coworker Jim Davis (who you HAVE to see present at a conference!). You might be aware of Dr. Suzuki’s awesome TED talk on the brain-changing effects of exercise. In this book Suzuki makes neuroscience easy to understand, interweaving her personal story with groundbreaking research, and offering practical, short exercises—4 minute Brain Hacks—to engage your mind and improve your memory, your ability to learn new skills, and function more efficiently.
Why We Sleep by Dr. Matthew Walker (7/18)
Dr. Matthew Walker’s NYT bestseller is a “must-read”. The science of sleep is explained by this world-renowned neuroscientist and sleep expert. Sleep deprivation is likely to be affecting you as much as it is your students and yet we know that sleep can make us healthier, safer, smarter and more productive. This book was the second of the #slowchatbook club reads and I was totally engrossed by it. This book pairs sleep knowledge with strategies to increase sleep, ultimately making us healthier and happier.
As a result of reading this book, which was also read by my coworker Andy Horne, we have decided to devote two days of our sophomore health curriculum to the topic of sleep. I promise you – this book will change the way you view sleep!
Irresistible by Adam Alter (6/18)
TED presenter Adam Alter has written a “groundbreaking book” that will open your eyes to our obsession with likes, retweets and endless online surfing. This very readable book explains why our tech devices are intentionally irresistible, but importantly shows us how we can harness these addictive products for good. This book was our very first #slowchatbook club read and the author even joined in the conversation with us!
If you value the health and happiness of your family and students you will want to read this book.
Blue Mind by Dr. Wallace J.Nichols (5/18)
Close your eyes and imagine your dream vacation. Is water present? Perhaps you are taking a romantic walk on the beach, or are sailing near a Caribbean island. Or are you on the slopes, skiing in Europe. Maybe you even have photographs at home of you and loved ones with water in the image – many of life’s romantic moments take place by water. I have blogged about how I’ve taken some of the authors theory and used it with my students in conjunction with stress management.
This great text from #HealthEdHeroes of mine offers “strategies for designing lessons, plus teacher-tested and ready to use unit outlines, assessments, lesson plans, and learning activities” and this book doesn’t disappoint.
Holly and Sarah are well connected; you’ve probably seen them at a conference, perhaps even been fortunate to be in one of their longer professional development offerings. As such, they were able to connect with health educators in the field, including many SHAPE America Teacher of the Year honorees to gather engaging examples of health lessons, assessments and projects that have proven to be a success.
I was recently asked in a podcast to name any book that I often recommend to others. THIS was the book that I mentioned.
If you are interested in what others are reading, I have been collating book recommendations from my PLN in a twitter moment entitled #summerreads. You will find so much inspiration within.
I also blogged about my own #summerreads list here.