Must Have Monday

Hi everyone! I'm linking up with Freebielicious for Summer Fun Week!

There are so many classroom "must haves", but one that stands out to me is... chair pockets! When I switched from first grade to kindergarten I wasn't using desks anymore and had to figure out a way to store all my students things. I am a huge fan of having my students manage their own materials and supplies and I think it's an important life skill that some kids really miss out on! I decided to buy chair pockets and they have been a lifesaver!

The biggest advantage for me is that I don't need to find places to store all the student workbooks, folders, and other papers. I also love that I don't have to waste any teaching time having kids go get their materials. I know lots of teachers that have great systems for sending captains to go get things for their table, but to me, it's all time that is lost when compared to kids just having their things at their seat at all times.

My chair pockets are from Lakeshore and I coughed up the dough to buy them all myself, but I like knowing that they are my investment and they belong to me and not the classroom or school district. **They are currently on sale!** I take care of them and they've really held up quite well over the years. I was hesitant about them at first because some of the reviews had said there was a hard, cardboard piece inside the fabric that got all warped when washed, but I have never found that to be the case. I actually think the hard part inside mine are plastic. I wash them in my washing machine (front loading) each year and they always come out great! Here's a picture of them drying on my back porch:

I also know there are lots of different options out there for chair pockets! I was also looking at these from ReallyGoodStuff:

and I know SeatSacks are another affordable option. A teacher friend of mine actually had a relative sew some for her! So there are lots of options for getting some great chair pockets. I've also seen teachers use those fabric book covers as seat pockets. Very smart!

From Wise Tool of the Week
I would say that I love how big the Lakeshore chair pockets are. I was afraid they would be TOO big because our kindergarten chairs are very small and have a rounded back, but they work just fine. I have had a few come apart at the seams, but there was A LOT of stuff inside the pocket and it was pretty heavy. They are easy to fix with a sewing machine.

My students keep so many things in their chair pockets! We have math workbooks that go with our Math in Focus curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears workbooks, writing folders, book bags, and journals for most of the year. It's also a great place for kids to store work that they haven't completed yet, or things that we'll be working on throughout the week. I love the little plastic area for the name tag--it makes changing seats really easy! I just switch chairs around and I'm done!

Here's an action shot of them in use... it was the best I could find! You can see all the stuff sticking out of it!

So there you have it! My classroom Must Have!! I don't know what I'd do with all of my students workbooks, papers, and journals if I didn't have these!

If you want to check out other teacher's Must Haves, hop over to Freebielicious for their Summer Fun Week link party!

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