One of the curriculum goals of the entire Gary Public School System (the school system I am most familiar)
is to make sure every student in the entire Gary Public School System is comfortable with diagramming essays with the Four-Square
method. I do my part to re-enforce this diagramming method to all my students and because of the effectiveness of Four-Square,
I will continue to use it regardless of the school system (unless there is another system-wide method in place).
My examples of the Four-Square method are illustrated below and can be found in these lesson plans:
The single best idea I think the Gary Public Schools Corporation implemented was Four-Squares for
everyone. Four-Squares is a method of diagramming paragraphs. Gary's insistence on a uniform method of diagramming
paragraphs throughout the entire school system makes sense in my opinion. Many of the students in the Gary system are
transient, never staying at one school for long. When every teacher at every school is teaching the Four-Square method,
then every student at every school becomes familiar with Four-Squares regardless of switching schools (unless
of course the student transfers in from a different school system that does not use this method).
A brief essay can be made from the 3 Four-Squares above. Using the Four-Squares method may help science
students reach the science goal of more concise and readable documents. As I stated in INTASC Principle (1),
the inability to communicate scientific findings to others makes those findings useless. Using the Four-Squares method
may also help language arts students reach the language arts goal of more readable essays (which I am certain is the
goal of the Gary Public Schools Corporation). The Classroom Assignments page of my classroom website provides evidence
that Four-Squares is taught to my students. It can be found here http://parr-class.tripod.com/id6.html.