Driving Lessons


Allison Behne

November 27, 2014

November 28, 2014
Issue #332

Today is my daughter Samantha’s 14th birthday. In Iowa, 14 is the age at which you can obtain a driving permit. To say she is excited about this is an understatement.  For the last three weeks, Samantha has studied the booklet, focused on her father's and my driving, and asked many, many questions. She is enthusiastic about driving and therefore motivated to study so she can pass the test on the first try.

I find it ironic that when she has a science, social studies, or math test, she tells me she doesn’t know what or how to study. This leads to conversations about why it is important to study for these tests and how to go about it. However, when it comes to her driving permit test she suddenly knows what and how to study. She has read, questioned, and studied so she is prepared. 

What is the difference between the two? Enthusiasm, motivation, and relevance. Samantha’s friends are driving, it is fun to drive, and it is new and exciting. She wants to drive, and the only way she can do that is to pass this test. Therefore, she has put her all into preparing for it. She has no complaints, only enthusiasm, thus creating a positive learning experience where she will not only pass the test, but gain knowledge that she can transfer to skills when she has a chance to practice in real life.

Samantha's experience has renewed for me the importance of tying real-world relevance everywhere we can in our classrooms. When we provide authentic application of concepts learned, students make connections and engage in the learning process. That is why I love Daily 5. My students want to read and write, and do so with enthusiasm on a daily basis. The tasks are authentic and lend themselves to lifelong literacy skills. Isn't that what we all want?


Daily 5 Coaching Tool

Our new "how-to" video, Up & Running with the Daily 5, presents a series of classroom lessons and breaks each down into the components and teacher actions that foster student reading, writing, and math progress. Schools can purchase streaming access to the video or get the DVD through Stenhouse Publishers starting January 1.


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Embedded Professional Development*

Here is a brilliant idea for communicating with support staff and seamlessly embedding professional development into the workday.

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Professional Development Opportunities

We are excited about our 2015 workshops. At each location, the first day will focus on Daily 5 and Math Daily 3. Day two covers all things CAFE. 



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Westin North Shore

April 18, 19

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Westin Charlotte

June 6, 7

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Hotel Murano

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Hyatt Regency Orange County

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Radisson Blu Mall of America

August 29, 30

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Hilton Fort Worth

September 19, 20

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Tropicana Las Vegas

November 14, 15


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