Nick Lodge (Room 311)

Nick Lodge
Grade 4
Room 311
Contact Information

Dear returning Green Mountaineers and new-to-the-town-of-Johnson Families,

Time marches forever forward, and with the winding down of Tuesday Night Live, hopes that the rain may finally stop, and stores being stacked with rows of backpacks and piles of notebooks…all this evidence points to the indisputable fact that school is about to begin. All that’s needed now for complete confirmation is a welcome-back-to-school letter from a teacher… Here’s the welcome-back-to-school letter from a teacher!

Indeed the 2017/2018 Johnson Elementary School year is now only a matter of days away! Monday, August 28th to be precise!  If you are reading this letter, then you must be a fourth grade student (or family of) in Room 311. Welcome!

As a brief introduction, my name’s Nick Lodge and I’ve been at JES bouncing between the Green Mountaineer Team (3rd and 4th) and the Explorer Team (5th and 6th) for quite a while now. British by birth, I grew up in Oxford, England but have lived in the States for 29 years yet persistently mispronounce words such as tomato.

If the advance of time is inescapable, so too is change and there are a number of changes for the Green Mountaineers.  We welcome a new third and a new fourth grade teacher; Marcella Daley and Christine Newberg respectively. With about a 25% turnover of staff there will, in truth, be a number of new faces for us all to meet!

Regarding what your fourth grader can expect  (and to lay out a broad 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.


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


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

Social Studies

(Global Citizenship)

Practice Standards

Demonstrates an Understanding of the Concepts Covered

Engages in the Inquiry Process, Discussions, and Activities

Very non-specific, I agree, but as these are what your student will be measured against for report cards, worth noting!

In coming letters we’ll discuss more precisely what we are doing in class. At the start of the year when paper after paper, form after form is sent home, I thought a general sense of class would be better.

A new year also heralds a new schedule, where the biggest change is the addition of Spanish in a Unified Arts block. In addition, a free breakfast will be served in the classroom to any student who would like one.You may notice that there is no technology class. For the past couple of years Room 311 has been a Google classroom where technology is a tool to complete tasks and assignments. As such it is integrated throughout the day in a meaningful way rather than being a separate and discrete subject.






7:30 - 7:50

Arrival/Morning Work/RTI/ 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


(45 mins. Inc book exchange)






9:45 - 10:15




10:15 - 12:15


12:15 - 12:45


12:45 - 1:15


1:15 - 2:15

Science/Global Citizenship



So what are the most important things in this schedule?

·        The schedule is flexible. Being together all day allows us to alter the length and order of classes, merge classes, and spontaneously alter classes based on the needs and interests of the students. We aren’t locked into a schedule where a bell determines the premature or long awaited end of class. The needs of the class may also determine the sequence of subjects when the year starts if we determine that extra supports would be beneficial. So flexibility is the name of the game.

·        What is not flexible are specials. 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 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.

Our “Blue Jaguar Folders” will remain our means of communication (along with the phone, e-mail…). These will be stuffed with parent letters, Jaguar Journals, notifications, homework. This consolidates communication and lessens the chances of things not being seen or being lost in the darker reaches 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. Please note that due to a new phone system we have new phone numbers. You can call the class directly at 888-6760. Between 8 and 2:30 the calls will go straight to voicemail so as to not interrupt classes.

Clearly there is so much we could discuss here, but as the ride hasn’t quite started yet, we can pace ourselves (and not feel overly overwhelmed).

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. 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


"Homework"- Out of School Learning Opportunities