Know the essentials of your students and have that information handy in an accessible spreadsheet. Taking time to note who in your lass has an IEP, 504 and health issue and allergy is not only important, it is your legal duty. Many student information systems identify this information for you, but often times it is not summarized on one page. Plus, going through the process of filling this out will also familiarize you with your class make-up.
The spreadsheet also prompts you to identify which students have divorced parents (this may be helpful to know when arranging conferences) and how many siblings the child has (this can provide insight on a variety of issues). Additionally, although Lexile should not be the only measure of a child's reading ability, it may be nice to have that information handy as you place students in cooperative learning groups or for differentiated instruction. Finally, as you get to know your students during the first weeks of school, take time to identify their favorite hobby in the space provided. All sneaky teachers know how to use student interests to hook ‘em!
You can be as elaborate or simple as you wish with the information you record in each cell. See the sample below.