A great time-saver for me last year was delegating the responsibility of lunch count and attendance taking to my "secretary." I bought a cheap cookie sheet and some small round magnets. After spray-painting the magnets white, I wrote numbers on them in permanent marker. I also used the permanent marker to draw and label columns on the cookie sheet as follows: brought, hot, sack, absent. Each morning the kids moved the magnet with their class number on it from the "absent" column to the appropriate column. Those left in the absent column were obviously "absent." My secretary (selected by me for a 9-week period) then simply counted the magnets in each column and recorded them on the sheet for the kitchen and office and delivered the information. No more trying to get everyone's attention so I could count hands... usually several times. I loved it!