These are interesting, and good ideas. I wonder if handing each kid their clothespin (or equivalent item) would add as much time as is being saved, plus create more work for staff (each class' clothespins in a bucket, which has to get walked back to the classroom and are now an unsorted mess that have to be gotten into the correct child's hand the next day. Hmm...
We talked about having a second computer/keypad, but the conclusion was that it would require a second human to staff it, which is out of the question budget-wise.
It will be interesting for us to try to find out why a tally/total count is not sufficient, since all lunches are free and (it seems like) 99% of kids get lunch each day.
We also discussed using the pieces of paper that contain each child's "order" (pizza vs. pb&j, etc) that each teacher sends to the cafeteria each morning. If ID numbers were on that sheet, someone could data enter later. However, staff said it would become the job of the lunch staff and they are already over-worked. Other staff seemed to think it wouldn't be fair to ask them to do daily data-entry, basically typing in 99% of the IDs for the school each day.
So many barriers! I really like these ideas, though, and will pass them along to the rest of our group. Keep them coming!