If you’re a Pinterest stalker like me, you’ve probably seen pins from a variety of places showing the marvelous idea of using cheap, stretchable book covers as chair pockets. I first saw it from a colleague last year and I loved the idea. I know I’ve also seen it from Cara at The First Grade Parade, though I can’t say with any certainty who the idea originally came from. As I set up my classroom this year, I bought 12 of them for the seats around my two group tables. I wanted some place to store dry erase boards, markers, and erasers.
It was a spectacular sight in August- complete with wonky corners and all.
Enter the day, you know the second week of school, when we started using the table for group work. It also happened to be the day that I lost my sanity.
Yes, the picture is quite blurry. It wasn’t intentional, but I think it’s a nice touch, don’t you?
So, as soon as students sat down, and then got right back up to sit on their knees, you know, because, it’s physically impossible for 8 year olds to sit in their seats for 20 minutes at a time without going up and down and left and right and up and down some more. Well, maybe it’s my chairs. Maybe it’s my kids. Or, maybe it’s my luck since I seem to have none in this thing called life. As soon as they sit on their knees, and their feet go through below the seatback and knock into the board, the whole thing starts sliding off.
And, pretty soon, this is what my floor looks like times 6. So when we need them, instead of taking a quick second to pass them out, I take a quick second to ask them to pick them up off the floors. And then, of course, someone tips over sideways outside of their chairs. Because, you know, 8 year olds have no center of gravity. It must be something physiological that happens at about year 9. Or 14. Or something other than 8.
And then, I ask them to fix it before they leave. Of course I want it ready for the next group. And, also of course, I’ve shown them on more than one occasion how to correctly put it back on. But, that visual perceptual piece must also be missing until the age of 14 or whatever the magic number is because every stinkin ever loving time, I turn and see this. And the board and items are on the floor, or the table, or somewhere obviously scattered.
Bless their hearts, they tried. They did. It’s the way you use a book cover, ya know.
So, I’m almost 4 months into these DIY chair pocket things and I’m now bald from all the hair pulling and wondering what the magical answer is. Is it my chair style? Is it my kids? Is it that my kids don’t have the visual perceptual pieces or the center of gravity pieces to make this work? Help me find my sanity! Please!