A variation and a quick way to take attendance and lunch count -- String a short clothesline on a wall or bulletin board right by the door. It should be big enough to hold a pin for each child (name and number on each clothespin). (I string line between cup hooks they hold well on bulletin boards.) Below it, I put smaller lines labeled for Lunch choice 1, choice 2, etc. Under it, I put "bag lunch". As the class comes in, each student takes his or her pin from the top line and puts it under the appropriate lunch. At a glance we can see who is absent and who gets which lunch. At the end of the day, the first one on line gets to put the clothespins back on the top line.