Beginning of the Year Business

Can you believe that summer is almost over? I’m kind of in denial. This summer went super fast. There are about 30 more things on my summer to-do list and that doesn’t count any school prep. So I would seriously love to rewind July minus the 115 degree heat.  
As we’re starting up a new year, I’ve had lots of questions about my schedule, forms, etc.  I thought I’d share some things I use each year.
About 9 years ago I started using MOOSE Books.  A management organization book for my students. It prevented things from getting crumpled at the bottom of the book bag, prevented lost lunch money and kept things neat and communication between school and home so much easier.  Our principal loved the idea and wanted the whole school to use it.  Of course the cute theme binders weren’t cool enough for our 5th and 6th grade students, so they changed the name on me! Now they are GO Books.  Simple, boring and grade neutral.  GO stands for Getting Organized and it must GO with them everywhere, so I guess it works. Anyway…I had to cutesy it up a bit with graphic and fonts, because that is way this teacher rolls.  So here is the cover and labels for each section if you are interested. I haven’t put them together yet, but when I do I’ll post a picture for you all.  Until then I’ll try to explain as clearly as I can about each section.
These books are 1 1/2 inch Clearview Binders.  Here is a link to the pages needed to create your own.
I include an information sheet for the parents on how to use the Go Book. Sorry- I can’t find it on my computer anywhere! But when I do I’ll let you know.  I also include a GO Book Rules sheet (Someone else’s genius idea) I can’t remember where I got it. If it’s your idea please email me.
Next is a pencil pouch marked, “Money”.  Any money that comes to school, comes in this pocket. Next are three binder pocket dividers that hold the kids papers. Each one has it’s own label. 
After this section I put a clear 3 hole sheet protector with the following label. The students put their monthly lunch menu inside.
The next section is the poetry section. 
My students weekly poems go here. They illustrate and place their poem in this section on Fridays. 
The final section is Parent/Teacher Communication. Here I put looseleaf for notes and our Star Chart (Behavior Chart) that tells what type of day their child had.
So that’s the GO Book. If you like it, feel free to GO ahead and download until your little heart is content.  
Next I’m including a photo of my lesson plans. I just finished my new schedule for the year. My lesson plans are the easiest way to share what my day looks like.  
I’m also including a few forms I send home at the beginning of the year.  My sweet friend Cara at The First Grade Parade just gave you all a bunch of hers that are fabulous so I won’t repeat with my version, but here are a few you might want.  
Okay…So for some reason. This party sign up doesn’t upload correctly to google docs. Therefore, if you want this. Just email me. 🙂 
And lastly…Here are some class lists and checklists if you want them. I also have a different free set in color in my Teachers pay Teachers Store.
I also send home a letter at the beginning of the year to my students. A little getting to know me, info they’ll need before school starts, etc. I ask the parents to write me a letter about their child so I can get to know them better. They bring it with them to Meet the Teacher, the night before school starts. The parents love writing them and I get info about their child I might not get from a form.  If you’d like to see a copy of what I send home, I’ll be more than happy to send it your way. This post is getting super long! 
Hope you all enjoy the rest of your time off! 
P.S. The graphics and borders used in these documents are courtesy of:
DJ Inkers
Scrappin Doodles
Just So Scrappy 
Thistlegirl Designs
The Ettes
Fonts: Lettering Delights and DJ Inkers
I have commercial licenses or permission to share from all designers. Please do not redistribute or recreate these materials as your own.  


Picture of Michelle Oakes

Michelle Oakes

Wife, mom of 2 boys and a bulldog, reading specialist, Target frequenting lover of fashion, home decorating, Cincinnati girl.

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48 thoughts on “Beginning of the Year Business”

  1. LOVE the 'GO' book idea!! I have been looking for a good title for organization binders!…I really like the cover you created…I teach 2nd grade but is there anyway you could possibly send it to me?? let me know!
    Thank so much!! xoxo, sophie

  2. Thank you so much for posting your GO BOOK pages.
    I really want to start one this year with a take home folder…it will be my first:)
    I love your ideas for it.
    Also I have been hunting for the NAME of the font you have used throughout the pages..I really like it for how authentic it is to the way I teach printing. It seems very popular but I can't find it…could you e-mail me the name of it?
    [email protected]
    Thank-you so much.

  3. This will be my first year teaching and this is a perfect idea! I was pondering how I could keep "in touch" with my parents and this fits perfectly! I was able to download all of the documents but the cover page. Would you be able to email it to me? I would truly appreciate it.
    Thank-you ;D

    [email protected]

  4. hmm GO books? I like it. I was going to use my last name "VOSS" and call them Voss Books.. Very Organized Students Succeed! But, GO book is not quite as vain! LOL
    Would it be possible to get that cover with "Kindergarten" on it? MY EMAIL IS [email protected]

    I would also like the party sign up sheet!
    Thank you for making them freebies…

  5. Oh my goodness I LOVE LOVE your post!!! Such great ideas! If you're willing, I would love a copy of your lesson plan form (so user friendly) and your letter you send home to parents. I love that you have the parents write back to you! I've always had the kids write back to me and I'm loving this little twist. Thanks for sharing all of your amazing documents!!!

  6. As others have mentioned, love the GO book idea! Thanks for sharing. I was curious as to the routine daily with these. Where do the kids store them? Do you check them each morning? etc, etc Thanks!

  7. I love your GO book! What a great way to organize so many important things all in one place! Do you buy all of the materials needed for the binder books, or do you have parents donate those items?

    Also, I would LOVE to see/use your lesson plan template. I LOVE the way it is laid out!

    Thanks for sharing such awesome resources 🙂

    [email protected]

  8. Love the G.O. Folder, I have used (S.T.A.R ~ Students Taking Academic Responsibility) and B.O.N.E (Being Organized & Neat Everyday) but that has been hard for my Kinder students to understand. This is very straight forward. I would love a copy of the volunteer and party sign ups. We are digging deep into RTI but I am having a hard time keeping track of all the information on students, any ideas?
    [email protected]

  9. I am really loving your site. I am trying to decide if I want to start your G.O. binder idea. The binders are so expensive. Do you get them somewhere cheap? Also, I would love to get your lesson plan template (unless it is somewhere on your site that I have missed). [email protected] Thanks again


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