I have an information table in the middle of my classroom. It’s where students can turn their work in, as well as get their work from my out box. I keep masters of current assignments on a clipboard there, so students can easily get a new copy if they lose it. I also have drawers that has the current activities’ materials, like task cards, science tools, etc.
But I also use this as a morning check in table. My students can come into my classroom before school officially starts to hang up their backpack and then they can go out on the playground. So I post a note (a laminated piece of notebook paper) for them to check in, such as remembering to clean their cubby, have sharp pencils, and to set up their materials at their desks.
It’s great, because when the bell rings, everything is ready to go and I don’t have to spend 5-10 minutes for everyone to get ready and settled. Also, before they go out to their morning break, they put away their materials and get out the next period materials. So when they come in from break, they are also ready to go.