Do you ever feel like your classroom is a revolving door? Or maybe your initial class list during preplanning never really looks like the class list you end up with at the end of week 1?
In order to make supplies like desk name plates last longer, laminate them!
(Duh, right? Well, wait…take it a step further.)
After laminating desk name plates I write names on them with a permanent marker and adhere them to student desks with the sticky back Velcro. If a student doesn't show up I just pull the name plate off the desk. When a new student comes use a dry erase marker and scribble right over the name. While the ink is still wet wipe it off with a tissue and the permanent marker comes right off too! Then write the new students name on the name tag and stick it back on the desk. You can use this trick all year long as students come and go. Then you only need to buy one pack of name plates and not worry about running out to buy a whole new pack because a new student came and you already used all of them up!
Another reason I use sticky back Velcro on the name plates is because sometimes you just need to clear the desk! Whether it's because the name plate has become a distraction, you need to cover it up for standardized testing, or maybe your student just needs to use those little references (like number line) at a place other than his/her seat it's nice to be able to simply peel it right off without the hassle of it being plastered to the desk with packing tape (leaving all that fun sticky goo behind).
At the end of the year about 95% of my students still have their name plates on their desks (because they're more durable once laminated). During clean up on those last days of school the kids can peel the Velcro off the desks themselves, so you don't have to go scraping and soaking with Goo Gone. Less work for you! (You know those busy little fingers are good at peeling stuff off!).