Miss T knows secret to studying smarter
By Mary Matsumoto
Mary Matsumoto photo
Retired New Holstein teacher Pat Tyunaitis uses blocks to help new student Cassy with her math skills. Through almost 50 years of teaching and her studies of how the brain works when it comes to learning, Tyunaitis said she knows different students learn in different ways—and finding the right way for each student is the key to helping them learn and do better in school.

Teacher Pat Tyunatis believes that more can be accomplished when students study smarter rather than simply study harder.

“By learning how your brain works, you can cut your study time in half,” she said.

What’s more, finding out exactly how an individual’s brain learns best can mean the difference between success and failure.

Even obstacles like ADD or dyslexia can be overcome by working with the brain, whether a person is naturally a visual, auditory, social, or tactile learner. Rather than facing failure after failure until he gives up, by working with the brain’s natural strength, a student will experience the joy of success, and learning becomes fun.

The first step, then, is to find out how a student learns best and work with it, gradually developing other areas of the brain, too, so that the student will eventually fit in with classroom curriculum.

That’s where Miss T’s Learning Center comes in.

How do they learn?

Cassy, for instance, is here for her first time. As Pat helps Cassy walk through various math problems, she lines up colored blocks so that Cassy can see what the abstract digits actually look like laid out on the table. The concept without the visual makes no sense to Cassy. So she touches each block as she counts, figuring out one math problem

Turn to MISS T/page 18 A