This month, Lego Education announced the introduction of BuildToExpress, a new approach to learning that uses traditional Lego bricks to help students develop a deeper understanding of what they’re learning through building, reflection, and dialogue. The program applies to all grade levels and, according to Lego Education, not only supports all core subjects in a curriculum, but actually enhances them by making difficult subjects easier to understand and – once a student grasps them – a more concrete foundation is formed.
BuildToExpress continues on the groundwork laid by Lego’s Serious Play initiative, creating a a classroom teaching process that helps students build their way to better communication. Because the new program is shared and nonverbal, BuildToExpress holds potential for not only ESL students, but also kids with special needs.
The program uses carefully selected Lego elements within a curriculum-based context. Using a “build and share” model ensures that each student is given the opportunity to be engaged and heard in the classroom. It works like this: students are asked to build models that show their understanding of various concepts. For example, a teacher might ask students to use bricks to show how they understand an abstract concept or how they visualize a historic event. Students are encouraged to actively listen, think creatively, and cooperate to solve problems.
“I use BuildToExpress to encourage my struggling math students to create structures to represent how they feel about math,” said Jennifer Rising, elementary classroom teacher, The Nueva School in Hillsborough, California. “Building with Lego Education bricks is a fun way for students to think about their emotions and express them verbally. Once they address their attitudes, they show greater focus and attention later during math instruction.”
To learn more about the program, visit the BuildToExpress site.