Disclosure: I received this complimentary product through the Homeschool Review Crew
Starting a new school year is always super difficult for us to transition into because during summer break, the kids tend to "forget" a lot of the things they learned prior. Going to the park, swimming at the pool and hanging out with their friends definitely creates a "mind fog" for them, which usually takes a few weeks to help them get back into the swing of things. This is especially true when it comes to their math facts, especially their multiplication tables. However, the Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills from Math Essentials has really helped us this summer to find an easy and quick way to help my youngest keep her multiplication facts in the forefront of her mind.
The Math Essentials Speed Wheel Drills are a series books designed to provide very quick drills for students to practice their math facts knowledge. Members of the Crew were given three different books - Addition, Multiplication and Division, to use with their families. Each book is a consumable paperback workbook containing 1,440 Speed Wheel Drills. Developed by Richard W. Fisher, winner of the Intel Innovations in Teaching Award, these math drills help students to instantly recall math facts, making their math assignments easier.
For our review, we concentrated on the red book, which is multiplication facts, however, each of the three books follows the same format. At the beginning of the book is page explaining how to use the book, as well as tips as to why learning math facts is important. At the end of the book is a resource section that contains a glossary of math terms, a list of important math symbols, as well as charts for math facts such as square root, fraction and decimal equivalents and a chart for either addition, division or multiplication facts. These pages take up a total of 17 pages of the 139 page book.
The rest of the book is the pages of speed drill wheels. Each page contains 12 speed drill wheels, each wheel dedicated to one math fact family. This means that each day, your student will practice the math facts for 1 - 12. (ie: multiplying (or adding or dividing) by 1, multiplying by 2, ect until multiplying by 12).
Each wheel is easy to complete. Students work around the wheel, using the target number in the inner wheel and then adding, multiplying, or dividing (depending on the workbook being used) by the number in the middle wheel and writing their answer in the outermost wheel. Each wheel has an area above to write how many of the answers are correct out of 12, and how long it took to complete the wheel in total.
Depending on your student's proficiency with their math facts, these drills can easily be used as a quick warm up before starting other assignments or, as we have been using for the summer, a quick practice each day just to make sure they retain the math facts before returning to the school year. How many drills are used at each setting is at the parent's discretion - one or two wheels a day for those students who are just beginning to learn the targeted fact, or an entire page for those more proficient in the material might work.
For our review, I opted to have Ashleigh complete one page a day, three days a week, just to keep ahead on her memorization during the summer. We did not, however, use the space to record time for each wheel, as she was instead completing a full page and we didn't want to stop each wheel to record time and begin timing for the next wheel.
On average, it now takes her about 5 minutes to complete a page. When she started, it took her about 15 minutes. Over the last few weeks, her times have gotten significantly faster as she has used the facts over and over and has really solidified the memorization of the facts.
The only negative I have to say about the books is I found the resources to overall be unnecessary. For a student struggling with addition facts and using this workbook for remediation, it doesn't seem necessary to have root numbers or a glossary with terms such as coefficient, disjointed sets, exponents, and hypotenuse. While this isn't a make or break for the book, I just found it to be unnecessary and could have been used for more practice wheels. I don't see a student needing this information grabbing any of these books to look this type of information up and it did not contribute at all to the purpose of the book.
Overall, this has been a great tool to use for the summer and we will continue to use it during the school year as well, eventually moving from the multiplication facts to the division facts using the next book (Green cover).
For more information about Math Essentials and the large variety of resources available for your homeschooling setting, be sure to visit their website.
Members of the Crew have been using the three workbooks in various ways with their own families. While we focused on Multiplication, other families have been using the addition and the division workbook with their students. Be sure to click the banner below to read their reviews today.