The Math Essentials: Speed Wheel Drills series consists of three workbooks subtitled for Addition, for Multiplication, and for Division. Speed wheel drills are an unusual way to review math facts that is simple for students to use on their own. Students of any age who need to practice math facts should find them useful.
All three books have the same layout of 12 speed wheel drills on each page. Each of the drills has a center circle with two concentric circles. Twelve spokes extend from the edge of the center circle to beyond the outer circle. (See image.) These outer spokes delineate the ring spaces in which students will write their answers.
Addition speed wheel drills have the number to which other numbers will be added in the central circle, such as +8 or +4, up through +12. Each page has a speed wheel drill for each of the numbers 1 through 12. Numbers in the center circles (one per speed wheel) are arranged randomly on each page of drills so that students do not encounter a consistent pattern of answers they can just memorize.
Outside the center circle, the inner ring of each wheel has the numbers 1 through 12 arranged in random order. These numbers will be added to the number in the center. The outer ring has blank spaces for students to write the sum for each set of two numbers.
Multiplication speed wheel drills also use the numbers 1 through 12 in the center circle (e.g., “x 6”) surrounded by the numbers 1 through 12 in the inner ring.
For division speed wheel drills, the numbers in the center are 1 through 12. However, the inner ring has dividends (the numbers to be divided) of 1 through 144. (For example, 12 through 144 on the wheel for dividing by 12 and 5 through 60 on the wheel for dividing by 5.) Students will write the answers (the quotients) in the outer ring.
Each speed wheel drill has a line for recording the number of problems answered correctly and a line to record the time elapsed so that you can use these as timed drills. At the back of each book is a list of the math facts for addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, but there are no answers for each individual speed wheel drill. Someone who knows the math facts well should check the answers.
There are 1,440 speed wheel drills in each workbook. Younger students might complete one or two wheels at a time, while older students might do more. Since the central numbers don’t repeat on a page, it doesn’t hurt if students can view their previously completed wheels on that page.