Spin Your Number Wheels!

Spin Your Number Wheels! lesson plan

Spin, spin, spin the numbers on these wheels! They add lots of appeal to math success and build young mathletes’ self-confidence.

  • 1.

    How exciting to learn how to add and subtract! These wheels can help you jump around between addition and subtraction. You’ll want to make several sets to make sure you know all of your number bonds (they’re also called equations)!

  • 2.

    Make three wheels. Divide the back of a large paper plate into several pie sections using Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils and a straight edge. Label sections with numbers around the outside edge using Crayola Fine Line Markers.

  • 3.

    With Crayola Scissors, cut out a circle from another plate (see the picture). Make it smaller than your numbered circle. Divide it into sections that match the first plate. Write numbers on each section so all the numbers line up.

  • 4.

    On a third paper plate, draw a small center circle and add a tab. This tab needs to be large enough to cover numbers on the second circle. Cut out. On the tab, outline a large plus sign (or a minus sign to practice subtraction) and cut it out to make a hole in that shape. Write a number in the middle.

  • 5.

    Assemble your number wheel. Place the plates on top of each other in the order that you made them. Ask an adult to poke a hole in the center of all three layers. Secure with a brass paper fastener.

  • 6.

    Start spinning! Pick a number, for example 10. What two numbers combine to equal 10? Pick a number along the edge, like 9, set the plus tab at this number. What number do you need to add to 9 to equal 10? Move the inner numbered circle around so that the


  • Students measure and problem solve to fabricate a multi-step, interactive math-learning tool.
  • Students calculate correct number bonds (equations) while using their number wheels.
  • Students gain an understanding that addition and subtraction are inverse relationships.


  • Substitute craft materials according to availability in your area. Instead of paper plates, recycled file folders or cardboard could be used.
  • Mathletes hold a numbers Wheelie where student teams solve equations on their number wheels.
  • Assessment: Students write each equation they solve. Use calculators or ask classmates to check work.
  • Make similar wheels for grammar, such as Whirling Word Blends, which is another Lesson Plan on Crayola.com.