Great example of an open group desk arrangement. Student desks are in groups, but all face the smart/white/chalk board. This arrangement facilities a great environment for establishing good student-student relationships.
Laminate a set of flash cards, put a binder ring around them, and toss them in your purse with a dry erase marker to entertain little ones. I don't know about the dry erase part but LOVE the binder ring!
Write names of students who are absent on the calendar. Gather their missing assignments and put them in the folder for their class period. Students are responsible for checking the folder when they return to school. Like the calendar with their names!