Teacher Lee Briggs on technology in today's classroom. Brought to you by Weekly Reader.

Thank You, Weekly Reader!

There is one subject that my students know can get them out of any lesson. One subject that, if I get started, then any lesson of fractions, variables, or irregular verbs grinds to a halt: Cars.

I am not in a tax bracket that allows me to own much car, although what I do own I flaunt. I have been known to put on a suit, visit dealerships, and test drive cars I have no hope of buying. My students and I disagree on a lot of what classifies as a cool car, but one thing we can agree on is that the Camaro on the cover of this week’s issue of WR News was ‘sick.’ That, added to the coverage of the Washington auto show that came out last week, had my students fired up!

I have conducted lessons on cars before, and my students have responded well. The article makes that point that American manufacturing is leading us out of the recession we are in, but that much of manufacturing has changed. I show my students the inside of the new factories and the computers that go into the newer cars that are coming out of Michigan and suddenly even my most stubborn student realizes that he needs to do better on his math. One place to go to find that math is The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A great site to go to for hard facts, it makes a great starter for opinion papers on topics such as cell phone bans and fuel economy standards.

Have any other gearhead lesson ideas? Share them in the comments!

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