Use a cover slip when collecting assignments. Grade the assignment, record the grade on the cover slip, then pass the papers back to students. No alphabetizing papers for the grade book. You can also see at a glance who didn't turn work in.
Managing Middle Schoolers: After some years of experience, and a lot of trial and error, I finally feel like I can teach middle schoolers. I might go as far to say I actually love teaching middle schoolers.
Don't Write About Your Writing for Middle School (Grades 6, 7, 8, 9)