One of the best tricks I started doing last year was using Expo markers on the desks in my classroom.
Somewhere I came across a web post where a teacher was talking about how great it was to have desks painted with whiteboard paint. Then they could just use white board markers any time they wanted to explain something to a student.
I went as far as pricing out how much it would cost to get my tables painted. Even started putting together a quote request. Then I stopped and just tried a dry erase marker on the desks I have. And it worked.
There a mix of fake wood topped and some other covering on the tables in my classroom and dry erase markers work on both.
Now when a student asks a question I’ll write directly on their desk. It’s great because it’ll stay there through class, but I can wipe it off afterwards. I’ve now got about 2 dozen white board markers floating around my room because students like to work out problems on their desks.
I’m using Expo markers, although I assume it would work with any brand of dry erase markers. I’m partial to the Expo Click fine tip markers. That way I don’t have to worry about losing the top.