The Dreaded Lunch Count

Ugh… Lunch count. I can never remember to do it. That and taking my attendance. Can’t there be a lunch count and attendance fairy that comes to my room each morning and does it for me? Can’t I just teach?!

Maybe I can hire a 6th grader to come do it for me. Yes, we have 6th graders at our elementary school. Don’t even get me started. Most of those 11 and 12 year olds should be no where near my sweet 6 year olds. They are a different breed and bless all of you teachers out there who teach anything with raging hormones. Give me tying shoes and loose teeth and bandaids making everything all better any day.


I am here today to share with you how I manage lunch choice for my students. In the past, we were not asked to have our students make a choice between the lunch menu options. We simply counted how many students were buying, and we sent that number on to the cafeteria.

So this year, when our cafeteria manager asked that we have the kids actually make a choice in the mornings between entrees, well that was pretty foreign to me! On top of that, our new AP asked if we could have the kids bring something with them to lunch to show what they chose.

Like my kids can get something from me in the mornings when they make their lunch choice and miraculously still have it at lunch time.

They lose their pencils between the top of their desk and the floor under their feet multiple times a day. But sure, here, take this popsicle stick and put it in your pocket. And then give it back to me after it has been in said pocket all morning. No thank you.

As you can tell I voted NO on all things popsicle sticks because even if I brought out the sticks every day before lunch and passed them out- that was TIME and also just one more thing I’d have to remember to take out to recess with me. Plus, what if my kids couldn’t remember what they chose that morning? I’d have to bring a tally sheet with me to recess, too. Not to mention getting said popsicle sticks from the playground to the cafeteria and then back to my classroom every day without me having to hunt them down and make new ones all the time.

Most people probably would just do it and it’d be fine. However I am ALL ABOUT being lazy making things easy for me and my team. I thought about this for an entire weekend… what would be something that my students could have with them and I didn’t have to be in charge of it for them AND they wouldn’t lose it?

lunch choice

Each morning, I put an X for each child’s lunch choice. Then, I call them up based on their choice and I stamp a “1” “2” or “3” on their wrist. They go about their day, wash their hands as usual, go to specials and recess, and BOOM they arrive in the cafeteria with their lunch choice proof right on their wrist.

No losing sticks, no popsicle stick fights in the restroom, no problem! :)

lunch choice 2

lunch duty


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