This new block building methodology scaffolds the mental actions that are integral for effective learning. These actions are fundamentally how we organise, connect and create new knowledge, in other words, how we learn.
Because our working memory has a limited capacity, it makes sense for us to move our thinking ‘outside of our heads’ where we can see it and talk about it. By making the process of learning visible and concrete, academic tasks immediately become more accessible to the student.
How does building help learning? As children organise their thoughts and ideas, they generate meaning. This is how we understand something new. These building block models are an engaging launchpad for thinking, talking and writing.
This visual PDF explains how the blocks can be used in your classrooms.
"It helped me in my Geography and English as I normally get stuck in the writing. When we do stories it allows me to set up my ideas first. If I make a mistake I can just move the blocks before writing it out." Woody, Year 7, The Maltings Academy.
New concepts are easier to understand if we can break them down into smaller parts. What results have we seen so far?
Using miniature whiteboards and blocks means learners can continuously edit their work.
Learners go beyond surface level details and explore deeper structures and patterns.
Clearer writing is usually the product of clearer thinking.
Explore the teaching resources
Learning is essentially the ‘putting together’ information into organised structures. Whichever year group or subject you work with, when your students are learning, they are carefully organising and piecing together new information. Providing opportunities to explore the structure of curriculum content brings with it a clear learning advantage.
Joining words to form phrases
Linking fragments to extend sentences
Organising points to build plans
Sequencing events to develop timelines
Joining concepts to create new ideas
When you need to tackle something that might be considered complex for your learners. This might be preparing for a piece of writing, consolidating a body of knowledge or checking for understanding.
The process can be used to 'stretch' higher attaining pupils or support a child who is struggling with grasping a new concept. There are significant implications for dyslexia and autism.
Schools are usually addressing one of these agendas:
1) Schools supporting a significant amount of disadvantaged learners.
2) Schools that are focused on developing lifelong learning traits.
3) Schools that are embracing a knowledge-rich curriculum.
The toolkits are perfect for simplifying any important concept or task. This could be in English, Science or the Humanities. It's useful for any body of knowledge with a clear structure.