I have done this for years and I like it and I think the kids like it, so I figured I would share it.
I wait for the kids to come to my classroom door and I greet them with a "Hello and Welcome" and give them an index card. It has a mail label stuck to it with a math problem on it. They are solving order of operations problems with negative, positive, and even fraction answers, oooh. I have the directions on the board so the kids can jump in and start while I am still at the door greeting kids. They can sit anywhere to start and work. They can write on the index card. They can ask anyone for help. Once they figure out their number answer, they find the desk that has the tape with the number written on it. I put the smallest number up front and weave through my desks. These become their desks and then I pass around my seating chart and they fill in their name. It is an interesting activity and takes a little bit of time, but it has them working from the minute they walk into the room, not waiting for the bell. And, they do offer and ask for help which is nice to see.
Here it is if you would like to see it. 1st Day of School Seating Activity
Happy 1st Day of School. (Mine isn't until Sept 4th, so I enjoy reading all of your blogs on your 1st day of school activities)