I want the first 5 minutes of class to run like clockwork. I want to come into my classroom from hall duty and see every student ready for the day's activities. In order for this to happen, I usually have to write notes to each class on the board letting them know what materials they will need, and to check their folders EVERYDAY. But I need my board space for, you know, math stuff.
This year I bought a cheap 8 x 10 plastic picture frame and wrote down for each class what they needed. I ran into a few snags with that. I kept forgetting to update after each class for the next class, and my handwriting was too big, that it didn't always fit on the frame. Sigh.
Then I had the idea to create the following chart. As the students walk into class they look at the column for their class and get the necessary materials. The only thing I would change is to add a blank row to the bottom, so that I could add something if I had to.
I have this sitting on the first table as they walk into the room, on bright yellow paper that they can't miss. It's been working like a charm.