I like to do ice breakers with my students and they usually enjoy them as well. I have the students put themselves in the alphabetical order. This requires them to introduce themselves to their peers. It also allows me to stand back and observe the students' personalities. I can usually pick out the leaders and the students who are a little more timid than the others.
I do like the idea about setting up a calendar with due dates. I think this would be extremely helpful for both me and my students.
Clear expectations on due dates and late work has always been a priority for me and my colleagues. We use the same policy accross the board in our academy. That way students already know what to expect.