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    Lunch Count and Attendance
    By Stacie Gadlage

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    I have used jumbo craft sticks with magnets on them for the past few years with my first and second graders. I put a number on each one and that way I don't have to change names on the sticks for the next year. Their number is also above their coat hangers and on their mailboxes, which also saves time when starting a new year. I have pictures of the main foods from our cafeteria laminated on 4x6 notecards. This takes some time, but was great for my low first and second graders who were trying to become better readers. At the end of the day, it is an afternoon job for two children to read the menu and put up the lunch order for the next day. We usually have 2-3 choices and then I use a laminated brown paper bag (cut in half) for those who brought their lunch. I use one side of the filing cabinet to put the menu on, along with the lunch choices in order. It is part of the children's morning work to put their stick under one of the choices. When I go to count everything up, it is easy to see whose stick is left at the bottom of the filing cabinet. It doesn't take but a minute to do the attendance and lunch count every morning. I hope this helps! Let me know if you need a better explanation...
    Stacie Gadlage


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