I know chair pockets are a hot topic because it is SUPER nice to be able to have a place where students can easily get to their independent reading items without having to dig through a desk or go to a cubby to grab it.
I always dreaded certain transition times in the classroom: lining up for lunch, packing up at the end of the day, and believe it or not – independent reading time.
All the rustling through desks, looking for the right book, hearing the crunching of the papers and the clinking of the 100 half-eaten pencils within the desk, clanging of the desktops, and the eventual “I can’t find my book” statement yelled from across the room.
Of course, then it was like I was required to walk over and do the digging – only to find the book within seconds in the pile of rubbish within.
I knew there had to be an easier way that didn’t involve opening the pit of destruction (aka sudent desks). It needed to be a quiet alternative and one that had student books in their fingertips within seconds.
Chair pocket organizers are the perfect solution! You can call them chair pocket or book bags too – they are just a chair organizer that hangs off the back of a student desk chair.
Storage Pockets for Books, Papers, and School Supplies
I happened to be at the Target Dollar Spot one day and grabbed a few items to test them out – and here are a few different options depending on your needs and desk sizes.
When you are buying in bulk for an entire classroom, finding the best price makes a difference. Especially if you are buying learning resources out of your own pocket.
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First up: Use regular stretchy book covers! Yes. It really is that easy.
Take one side and stretch it around the top of the desk. Place books in the other. They are super stretchable and will really hold more than you think.
I do think they would be a good candidate for being easy to clean and machine washable too, which is a bonus. As always, test one out first to make sure it holds up well.
The second choice is a Dorm Room Storage Caddy. This one had handy velcro straps that made it easy to wrap around the back of the chair and hold items into place. It also had a load of storage.
The only issue with this options was the width of the chair. Definitely measure before going this route.
I did think it would hold up well in the classroom as it was poly laminated fabric that was pretty sturdy. If the straps don’t quite fit right, you could sew elastic banding on them to make them fit snugly on the seat back.
DIY Chair Back Classroom Organization
Number three is a bit of a stretch as a chair pocket as it is too long, but it could be used on a cabinet or door at student height. I would even add labels, vinyls, or student name tags or numbers on the front to remind students which pocket is theirs.
Grab a couple of Command hooks, pop the shoe organizer on it, and add books. Now, since the pockets are meant for shoes, it would be best suited for chapter books only (which usually means the older students). But this adorable pattern was too cute not to include somewhere in the lineup. Haha!
As a side option: Hang them from a whiteboard tray and use as ready to learn center stations! They are large enough to hold mini readers, writing utensils, and folded comprehension worksheets for sure.
The last Target chair pocket find today for me is by far my favorite! And the one I wasn’t sure would work at all!
It is a bath caddy! I added a Command hook to the back of the desk chair. Then, I added the caddy!
Easy peasy and so so so cute! It is big enough for picture books and chapter books and has 5 pockets for additional items if you wanted. I was worried it would stick out too far, but it really doesn’t actually.
Do you have other classroom ideas like the No Sew DIY Chair Pockets I made a few years back?
I would love to hear additional suggestions in the comments below! There are already several other suggestions, including using pillowcases, nylon zipper pouches, and more. #sharingiscaring
Have fun choosing your chair pockets!