Tinker Thinkers in Osseo Teaches Old School Math Skills
A new tutoring academy in Osseo teaches mental math the old fashioned way — with an abacus. Teacher Dennis Chepurnoy developed The Tinker Thinkers curriculum.
Chepurnoy says there are six important skills that Tinker Thinkers brings: focus, concentration, memory, imagination, observation and ability to process information really fast.
“When our students build these skills they build their self esteem and self confidence,” said Chepurnoy.
Eventually, students don’t need the abacus. Chepurnoy says students use both left brain and right brain functions.
“By working with two sides of the brain right brain which is our creativity and intuition, music, etc, and left brain, which is logic short-term memory and reaction, we help students to build both sides of the brain at the same time and use it at same time in full capacity,” said Chepurnoy.
Tinker Thinkers About More Than Just Math
The exercises are more like games and the students seem to enjoy the challenge. But learning at Tinker Thinkers Academy is about much more than just math.
“We don’t come to Tinker Thinkers for math skills,” said Kelly Sullivan Noah, whose two sons are enrolled in the program. “We come here to work on things like working memory and focus. It gives them the ability to hold things in their heads while they’re doing other things in their day.”
Sullivan Noah’s enrolled her sons Adam, 7, and Thomas, 5, at Tinker Thinkers last fall.
”One thing we do for fun when we’re shopping is I’ll have my older son keep a tally of our groceries as we go and see if, while we’re eating samples at Costco and chatting about our day, can he remember that we were at $57 dollars and when we add $6 we’re at $63 and hold that $63 in his head while he’s looking at something he wants to buy,” says Sullivan Noah. “So being able to keep a working tally in your head is a really cool tool.”
Chepurnoy said the optimal age for Tinker Thinkers Academy is from 6 to 13. While this is the only Tinker Thinkers Academy location, the long term goal is to open other locations in the future.