Some of you may remember that I switched from desks to group tables.
You can read more about my classroom reveal here.
It's something I've been wanting to do forever and I love it! Of course, there were definitely challenges to overcome with the switch. One of my biggest concerns was how to give the kids some sense of personal space when they'd be sharing just about everything as a table. So, the first thing that came to mind was seat sacks. I researched like a loon until finally settling on some that were handmade by a seller on ETSY. They were the most affordable option I found and they seemed like they'd do the trick. While I was mostly pleased with them, I didn't love them like I wanted to.
For one, I ordered black to hide the wear and tear and the seams were very visible and sewn with white thread, which really irked me. I also had to order them based on the seat size. I ordered the correct size according to the seller's recommendations, but they are definitely too big because the edges fold over and they slide around the back of the seat. But my biggest issue is that they really hang open quite a bit when you start to fill them up. I had to resort to keeping most things like clipboards and pencil cases in the crate at each table, which is kind of a hassle.
So, when I was contacted by EAI Education about reviewing a product, it took me about seventeen seconds to try the NeatSeat Organizers! I have no idea how I didn't see these when I was looking around this summer. I can only guess my superior Googling skills must have been on the fritz.
I was initially attracted to them because of the fact that they have a top flap with a velcro closure to minimize hang and droop. I also really appreciated the way they attach to the chairs with adjustable straps so I didn't have to guess which size to order. I strapped them on as soon as I unwrapped them and was immediately impressed with the quality and design. In fact, my room mother was there as I was unpacking and she was just as impressed as I was.
|Look how thin they are from the side!|
|I also LOVE the mesh pockets for keeping their lanyard, crayons and|
other things we need to access quickly.
I was a little worried that the buckles used to adjust the straps would bother the kids when they sat with their back pressed to the chair. But not one of the kids has complained and when I tried it out myself I didn't feel the buckles either.
Here are some side by side comparisons:
I also really love the plastic sleeve so I can slip out the NeatSeat sign and add my kids' names. The NeatSeat also has a divider inside which I think helps with bulkiness since everything is not falling into the exact same spot. And can you even believe that they are less expensive than the ones I ordered?
So, I'm sold. In fact, I've ordered enough for the rest of my class. I've been using them for about two weeks and I'm still as impressed as I was from the start. I can't wait to get the rest of them because I can't even tell you how many times a day my shirt catches on the things that are exposed and hanging out of the other seat sacks. I didn't think I would like the assorted colors, but now I'm looking forward to them. What a great way to call the kids by groups to line up, get supplies, or come to help me present a concept when I need volunteers.l I can call all the blue seats, or orange seats, etc. I'm also thinking of perhaps putting all of one color at one table and then naming the tables by color. I'm still thinking that one over.
Ready for the really good news? I get to give away a set of four to one of you! If you're wondering what to do with just four, I've got some ideas for you. How about placing one on a chair at a center or shared workstation to hold the activities, games, or supplies necessary for that center? You can use them at your computer center and put recent read alouds in the pockets for students to use when taking an AR test. Maybe give one to your students of the week to use as a special little perk. You could also set up a seat for volunteers who come to your room to work with students or do tasks for you. Just fill up the sack with supplies for them!
The rules for entry are super duper easy. The only mandatory entry is to leave a comment on this blog post to tell me what you think of the NeatSeat Organizers. You also must enter using the Rafflecopter widget below because that's how I will choose and contact the winner. You'll see some other optional entries there which are not required to win. EAI has also graciously supplied a free shipping promo code that is good for purchases of $25 or more through the end of the year: SSDFS2013
Good luck my friends!
a Rafflecopter giveaway