Nick Lodge (Room 311)

Nick Lodge
Grade 4
Room 311
Contact Information

                                                                                                August 2018

 A summer of unseasonal heat that has baked both North America and Europe alike, is drawing to a close. School and a new academic year are nearly upon us, and the fans in the classroom are working overtime and almost winning the battle of keeping 311 cool enough to write this letter in.  Very warm (literal) greetings to both new families to grade four and returning families.

If we are yet to meet, I am your fourth grade homeroom teacher for the coming year. British by birth, from Oxford, England, I married an American and ended up in rural Vermont and have stayed put for the the past 30 years. While I am thus a flatlander, at best, I can take pride in having worked at Johnson from before the extentenson was built and now seem to often have the children of former students in class. And I still call multiplication and division, maths!

The advance of time is inescapable, and so too is change. Whilst much stays the same this year,  such as the core teachers, there are a number of changes for the Green Mountaineers. Looking at the schedule for the year will indicate some of them.






7:30 - 7:50

Arrival/Breakfast in the classroom

7:50 - 8:15

             Morning Meeting (inc. Calendar, Team Building, Beat The Teacher)

8:15 - 9:15


9:15 - 9:45






9:45 - 10:15


Tech in classroom



10:15 - 12:15


12:15 - 12:45


12:45 - 1:15


1:15 - 1:35

Number Corner/Math Fluency

1:35- 2:20

Science/Global Citizenship


Daily Classroom “Trivia” Quiz



So what are the most important things or changes in this schedule?

  • Note that the day runs a wee bit longer as we have have negotiated the bus times with the high school. This does not make the afternoon so rushed, and has been something that the teachers have been wanting for a while.

  • We now know for certain when sneakers are needed for PE (Wednesday and Friday) and when library books are due (Monday…or before if the students are finished with them).

  • Our lunch remains the late lunch of 12:45.  As such, it will be really important for students to have a decent breakfast and a sustaining snack each day so that they can survive without having to resort to eating the crayons, pencil shavings, and the contents of the recycling tub! As of press time, we will still be providing free breakfast in the classroom before 7:50. In addition we still have the grant that supplies all students with fresh fruit and vegetables for snack each day at no cost to families (if students choose to take it). Snacks from home can also be brought from home if so desired.

The set-up class may be a little different for students. Forsaking desks, we have round tables. Students will be put in teams for two weeks (Alfa, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta). The teams are then reassembled. There are are also alternate work spaces in the classroom; team extension tables, stand-up desks and solo spaces. To coincide with the two week rotation, there is a fortnightly end of the day “trivia” quiz that is played between the teams. “Trivia” allows news rounds, problem solving, critical thinking, the exposure to new concepts and the review of others...We started it last year to add a positive closing structure for the day that fostered teamwork. It was popular with the class, so it is returning this year in a refined formatt.

Students also have a variety of seating options; chairs, yoga balls, wobble chairs and standing at the stand-up desks. Negotiating within the teams about the use of these resources is part of the social curriculum. This is also the main emphasis of morning meetings in 311, where group activities such as initiative tasks, trust activities and inclusive cooperative and competitive games encourage cooperation, communication, a variety and difference of input, active participation, intrapersonal problem solving... All these skills are necessary for building a community, and the building of class community is emphasised within 311. It is the community in which learning will happen, and the community that will process and solve problems and issues when they arise.

In terms of academic learning,  as a fourth grader (and to lay out the course of study for this year) these will be some of the key areas of proficiency we will be working on for year’s end.


As determined by the Common Core, and using Bridges as an outline/framework

Practice Standards

Makes sense of problems and perseveres in solving them. Attends to precision.

Constructs viable arguments and critiques the reasoning of others. Reasons abstractly and quantitatively

Uses appropriate tools strategically; models with mathematics

Looks for and makes use of structure. Looks for and expresses regularity in repeated reasoning

Content Standards

Operations and Algebraic Thinking

Uses the 4 operations to solve problems

Gains familiarity with factors and multiples

Generates and analyzes patterns

Number and Operations Base Ten

Generalizes place value understandings for multi-digit numbers within 1,000,000

Uses place value understanding and properties of operations to perform multi-digit arithmetic


Extends understanding of fraction equivalence and ordering

Builds fractions from unit fractions by applying and extending previous understandings of operations on whole numbers

Understands decimal notation for fractions (0.1=1/10) and compares decimals (0.1>0.01)

Measurement and data

Solves problems involving measurement and conversion of measurement from a larger unit to a smaller one.

Represents and interprets data

Understands the concept of angles and measures angles


Draws and identifies lines and angles: classifies shapes by properties

English Language Arts

As determined by the Common Core, and using Guided Reading and Lucy Calkins as an outline/framework


Foundational Skills

Knows and applies grade level phonics and word analysis skills

Reads grade level text with accuracy and fluency to support comprehension

Informational Text

Uses key ideas and details, text features and content vocab to deepen understanding of text,  integrates knowledge and ideas, reads range of texts varying complexity


Uses key ideas and details, craft and content vocab to deepen understanding of text,  integrates knowledge and ideas, reads range of texts varying complexity


Writing Standards

Uses writing process NARRATIVES (real or imagined)

Uses writing process opinion /Argument (point of view and support)

Uses writing process informative/explanatory (examine topic, convey ideas)

Researches to build and present knowledge/ideas

Recalls experiences or gathers info from print and digital sources

Writes routinely over extended and shorter time frames for a range of disciplines

Conventions Standards

Demonstrates conventions of English grammar, usage,  mechanics and spelling

Acquires and accurately uses grade appropriate  Vocabulary words and phrases

Science and

Global Citizenship

Practice Standards

Demonstrates an Understanding of the Concepts Covered

Engages in the Inquiry Process, Discussions, and Activities

Science is  determined by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This year grade 4 will also be working in partnership with the ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain.

Global Citizenship in grade 4 this year is moving to meet the standards set out by College, Career and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.

This year students in grade four will again be eligible for each trimester’s academic awards; Principal’s Academic Achievement List and Principal’s Lifelong Learner Award. Expect to also see an increased number of progress reports this year!

Our weekly “Blue Jaguar Folders” will remain our means of communication (along with the phone, e-mail…). These will be stuffed with parent letters, Jaguar Journals (if you do not elect the electronic version), notifications, homework. This consolidates communication and lessens the chances of things not being seen or being lost in the darker corners of the backpack. These will go home on Fridays. Once seen and emptied, please return them to school so they can be refilled for the next week.

As the school year starts, please feel free to call me with any questions or comments. If I can alleviate any anxieties, or provide information, I am always only a phone call away. As noted at the top of the letter, 888-6760 is my school number. Please leave a message and I will return your call as soon as possible. In addition there’s also e-mail; Continue to enjoy these last long August days. I look forward to seeing you all very soon.


               Nick Lodge

Attached is a short family “getting to know you” sheet. The purpose is to kick-start our communication and individualizing learning process. It has proved to be very useful in the past. If you could take the time to complete all or some of it, I would be much obliged.


Student Name

Parent Name

Phone Number

Best time to call for non-emergencies

E-mail (for non-confidential communication)

A wish that you have for your fourth grader this year.

Things I should know about your fourth-grader (recent changes, medical, fears, concerns, strengths, weaknesses etc.)

Words that best describe your fourth-grade student

Student’s favorite music, hobbies, interests

"Homework"- Out of School Learning Opportunities