My school's staff has been trained to use ThinkBlocks. My friends who have had more training in ThinkBlocks say that they help students think in a natural way, but not necessarily a way that we are use to teaching. It helps students make connections and distinctions between things. (This is a most elementary explanation, as I am an absolute newbie to this, or a "white belt" as they call it.)
In kindergarten today, my students were starting to paint the faces on their self portraits. Instead of having them list the parts of the face that they needed to include, I had them tell me things that were or were not part of the face. Naturally, I got "eyes," "nose" and "mouth." When kids suggested "ears" and "neck" there was disagreement about which block group these should go; "not a part of a face" or "part of a face." It was interesting to hear 5 year olds defend their reasoning. In the end, they decided that while both of those touch the face, some people might consider them part of the face and others might consider them not part of the face, so we stuck those blocks in the middle.
Nothing groundbreaking, but I am excited to start using the blocks. I want to keep thinking of ways to use the tools and dig deeper.