At Teaching for Change, I try to teach my students to monitor their own comprehension, and I always attempt to engage them in meaningful, engaging discussion. 4-Square notes accomplish both of these tasks. They offer students the chance to annotate any text as through the use of predictions, visualizations, connections, questioning, and searching for unknown vocabulary.
Also included is the rubric for grading the 4-Square notes and a discussion guide to use in the collaborative group setting which helps facilitate discussion about students' 4-Square notes. I have found it best to place students in heterogeneous groups for discussion of 4-Square notes as it helps with questioning, connections, and vocabulary.