Keeping it in order
I recently submitted this idea to Mailbox Magazine. You cover a tin can with felt or contact paper. Then, you program popsicle sticks with each child's name on them. You put the popsicle sticks in the can and draw them when you need to choose a child to do something. This keeps everything fair and in order. You can use the sricks to choose line order or helpers for the day. The children can also sign in in the morning using the popsicle sticks. There are tons of uses!
At the beginning of the year, many of the children don't know each other's names. On the first day, take a polaroid photo or, better yet, one of those sticky mini polaroids (I-Zone) and paste it onto a colorful piece of paper and add the childs name to the bottom. Then graph the pictures according to the first letter of thier names. You could also take this as far as hair color, color of shirt, or length of names.
Make a Graph!
If you do a lot of graphing in your classroom or would like to... Why not draw some large graphs on posterboard and laminate them? Make any size graph and use dry erase markers to write on them. Or, you could use velcro and then put velcro on the back of each child's picture, name or symbol so that they can vote.
Magnetic Story Boards
Allow your children to create and act out stories using personal sized magnetic story boards. Gather together a bunch of baking sheets that are ugly and burned. Cover the inside with colored contact paper. Then, create pieces using felt or laminated card stock with a magnetic strip glued on the back or draw or print directly onto a sheet of magnetic paper. Cut out and have fun!