One of my students is working on beginning multiplication. He is a very physical student, and I needed a way for him to make the tactile connections that he needs to be successful. So we spent a minute before starting out math lesson to make "perfect" balls to make arrays with.
The process of creating the balls was quick, calming, and helped my student feel a connection to his wrok that he wouldn't have otherwise had.
I often write directly on the table, and encourage my students to do the same. We use dry erase markers. This is a time saver, is easily cleaned up by the student, and brings the work to the student's level.