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thing1thing2 02-07-2013 02:17 PM

4 Square Writing Anyone?
Does anyone use this with their students? Have you seen results? What's your student population/background? Any good tools to pair with it? We currently have Empwering Writers, but, it doesn't catch hold with the grade level to low students. Wondering if the 4 Square approach has worked for anyone. I teach 3rd grade. Thanks!

charliesun 02-07-2013 02:55 PM

I've used it with both 3rd and 4th graders
and it has been very successful. It helps students to organize their information. I always introduce it slowly and practice each step several times until most of the students have been successful. At this time of the year students are very comfortable using the planning page. About 50% of my students are Amish in a rural school.

PUKO 02-07-2013 03:41 PM

first grade
I use it. I love it. This year it has been the most successful year of writers ever. My students are 70% African American 30% white. I use it with sequencing. fiction. non-fiction. opinion.

I do not have a set writing curriculum and this has worked very well for me. It will fit in with anything you need. :)

abcteacher 02-07-2013 03:57 PM

I use 4 square writing and love it. My kids are usually weak and uncertain when it comes to writing. This model allows all students to be successful. Even my lower students can write a paragraph using the 4 square. I do lots of modeling in the beginning but they eventually use it independently. I teach second.

Squirl 02-10-2013 04:12 PM

Heard of it, but not used the program
I haven't used it exclusively... Of course, I taught it to my kids as a strategy for writing, but it was not a "curriculum" for my writing block by any means.

I taught in a district that was really trying to push it. Of course, if the first time that a kid hears about this is in 4th grade, it wouldn't be as effective as if they had been learning it the whole time. I think this is the idea that the district was going with, but they tried to force teachers to teach it when, like me, they knew nothing about it. I learned it as I went, and I learned that it was good for some kids and not so good for others.

The funniest thing was when one of the schools in my district got audited by the state board of education because EVERY kid's writing on the state test was basically identical. The school got into some serious hot water because the teachers were accused of coaching on the test. Honestly, several of the teachers were actually coaching their kids, but every teacher in the school got "caught" because of the writing portion of the test. Personally, I think teaching it as a strategy would be fine. But to only give kids instruction in *that* particular form, you'd be robbing the kids of resources that they will need. There are many different ways to tackle a writing project, and some ways work best for specific purposes. Four Square Writing isn't "just right" for all purposes. Kids need to learn how to make the choice.

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