I love finding articles like this. Getting a first hand glimpse into the past is something that has always peaked my attention. I'm also so happy to read that the boards are being saved. Truly a priceless look into the past. Amazing find.
FYI- the fourth photo was commented on by a man who attended the school-
The multiplication wheel and addition staircase (the latter of which I haven't seen since I was in grade 1) were games our teachers played with us. Two students stood up, the teacher would write the number to add to or multiply by in the middle, then point to a random number on the circle/staircase. The student who solved the problem first moved to the next desk, and the winning student kept going until someone reached the goal, which in grade 1 was a student winning 5 in a row. That student would earn a point, or a star, or whatever currency was used, and at the end of the week/month they'd be calculated and some kind of prize was usually awarded.
It was a fun, semi-competitive way to encourage us to get better at math. I remember going home and begging my mother to practice the math staircase with me every day after school.
I have thought about that addition staircase so many times in my life. I never thought I'd see another one. I'd wipe a tear if I wasn't so cynical.
Link to another article on the multiplication wheel.