Math Teachers Who Undermine Math Fact Memorization

A guest post by Ben Harrison

Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software

Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.

The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.


Teacher and student, Imagine Learning, guest author, Ben Harrison, math fluency, math facts, math memorization, single-digit, common core, math advisory panel, Big BrainzEvery once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts–or at least he or she appears to be.

Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed “memorization can inhibit fluency” and “memorization . . . can be damaging.”

Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion.

From Where I Sit

Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you’re one of these educators, you’re already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view.

So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it’s because you haven’t seen it done well. Read more »


The Truth About Game-Based Educational Software

Math-facts, game-based learning,, GSL, Big Brainz, Imagine Learning, math fluency

Math-fact gamification

Ask a typical educator about game-based learning and video games in school, and expect at least some skeptical responses.

Many educators and parents worry about gaming as an educational tool.

Research on the educational worth of video games has been mixed, and some educators point out the fact that most data come from short-term studies.

While research on educational software is still young, increasing evidence points to positive outcomes for today’s students—despite the prevalence of headlines linking video games to bad behavior or lukewarm learning outcomes.

According to James Gee, an education professor at Arizona State University, blaming all video games for poor results is like blaming all food for the existence of obese people.1 Read more »


Math Fluency Can Save Your Marriage

Yes, this is a tongue-in-cheek post, but considering how our Big Brainz team members spend their lives trying to help folks master their core math facts, we thought this would be a wonderful story to share about how math fluency just might save your relationship.

James Clerk Maxwell and wife, Wiki Commons photo, Imagine Learning, Imagine This blog, Big Brainz, math fluency, marriage

James Clerk Maxwell and his wife Katherine–together, a math-fluent pair!


Read the article here: Math Fluency Can Save Your Marriage