The Essential 55

Discussion in 'General Education' started by pwhatley, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I just completed reading (in 4 hours) The Essential 55 by Ron Clark. I LOVED it, probably because almost every one of his rules were standards with which I grew up! (Southern belle here, lol) I am wondering:

    *Who else has read the book, and what did you think?

    *Has anyone implemented the rules? If so, what results did you have?

    :thanks:
     
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  3. MissAmy

    MissAmy Companion

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I read that book this summer as well. I really enjoyed the reading. I think I might incorporate some of what he said into our morning meeting group activity.
     
  4. becky

    becky Enthusiast

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I'm halfway through the book. I applied at least one to myself. I'm quick to not make eye contact with people like cashiers, bank tellers, etc. I'm polite to them, but it's a thing of wanting to get to the next thing, you know? I make myself stop now, and really address the person.
     
  5. 6ertchr

    6ertchr Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I LOVED The Essential 55! I read it in May, so I haven't used it yet. I've also watched the movie based on his work in Harlem. I work with students similar to his, so I'm excited to try his technique.

    I've chosen 45 to use this year. I chose 5 rules and reworded them to use as my "Big Idea Rules". These will be introduced on the first day. The other 40 are my "Detail Rules". They are specific rules that support the main 5 rules. They will be learned throughout the first few weeks. All of the rules will be posted in the classroom and in their binders.
     
  6. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    I read and loved his book too! I have five core classroom rules that are different from the 55. But, after reading the book, I wanted to share some of his ideas with my kids. I bought a six-foot tall essential 55 poster from Education Station and hung it on the door. Every few days we would read one and have a 4-5 minute discussion about it.
     
  7. Bonnie gr. 2

    Bonnie gr. 2 Companion

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I have read the book. I was also lucky enough to have heard Ron Clark speak. He is very funny and really motivates you to go into your classroom and make a difference. If you have the opportunity to see him, take it!
     
  8. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    Jul 31, 2007

    My husband has read the book and loved it. I plan on reading it too. I was just told today by my principal that our entire district is going to hear Ron Clark speak one morning of our beginning of school staff development. I know that it will be great!
     
  9. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    Awww, lucky!!! I wonder if he only speaks to adults. How great if he could talk to students at schools.
     
  10. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    It would be great for students to hear him speak. I know that his experiences would be very motivational for them.
     
  11. ChangeAgent

    ChangeAgent Comrade

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    Jul 31, 2007

    I, too, heard him speak. He is very inspirational. However, I must admit, I walked away thinking, "****, I wish I could do that."

    His story is so extraordinary and his retelling of it, his passion, and his humor is almost intimidating--yet at the same time you want to sit and listen and go talk with him.

    If you get the chance, go listen!

    I will admit, however, that I have not read his book. To me, 55 rules seems a bit extreme. However, from his presentation, he explained the importance of community involvement. As social beings, I very much appreciated this aspect of his approach. He noted his enrollment of the janitors and cashiers in and around the school to quiz students and get involved. The whole "it takes a village to raise a child" concept.

    Although this may not be possible for all teachers or most situations, at least helping our students to be made aware of these other people is a large step in our society today.
     
  12. Chevygirl97

    Chevygirl97 Companion

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    Aug 1, 2007

    I read it, loved it and passed the copy to my mom (a person who should have been a teacher!) who loved it too. I took the 55 to mean just ways to be--not as "write them on the wall" kind of rules...more like, procedures...
     
  13. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    I also read and loved the book as well as the movie. I also work with similar types of students, only younger. Ron Clark is going to be our keynote speaker at our teacher general assembly (welcome back, kick-off/pep rally for teachers) later this month, I can't wait!
     
  14. divey

    divey Companion

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    I have read the book, and use the "55" in my 2nd grade classroom. I usually introduce one during morning meeting time, and we discuss them, maybe doing a little role playing if time allows. I don't use them as "RULES"...but rather "rules that we should ALL live by". My kids know that I, too, try to follow these rules, and when we discuss them, I can usually think of some personal examples to share. My 2nd graders LOVE them, and they really, REALLY enjoy practicing them, and pointing out when someone has/hasn't been applying the E55! Our principal used E55 as one of our book studies last year, and wants to make using them a school-wide affair, but we haven't figured out a way to do that yet. Does anyone out there use the E55 school-wide? How do you introduce/incorporate in your day?
     
  15. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    I have read the book and loved it. We have another teacher at school who has implemented a lot of ideas into his classroom. His students are wonderful by the end of the year. Very polite to others and such. I plan on using a lot of his 55 this year.
     
  16. breneem

    breneem Rookie

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    Aug 1, 2007

    I used them the last two years in my 5th grade class. I had it in my social skills lesson plans on Tues & Thurs, and boy did tyhey love them! I gave them each their own copy, hwich were were kept in the writer's portfolio, and then we have the big posters up on the dry erase boards. I stress to them all year that if I take the time in class to di them, then I think it is really important for them, and explain why.
    We would do 2 each time., in order, it takes almost the whole year, then we move on to ABC's of ettiquettte. I would discuss a rule, take their opinions on to why it does make sense to follow it, and then draw "a bear" with their # from a cup to act out the "right" way & the "wrong" way. THEY LOVE THIS!! It is agood use of time to get up for one, but it also lets them be silly! They all want to do the wrong way, and always ask to do more then 2 rules a day.
    I still don't really understand the "stinky chips" one though:D
     
  17. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Ron Clark came to speak at our beginning of the year convocation last year, and it was WONDERFUL! He is so energetic and inspiring. I loved this book, and the one thing I have really learned from him is to be very specific in your expectations. It works.
     
  18. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I loved his explanation about the "No Doritos" rule! It is just a silly thing he put in as a rule, in order to make it more human!
     
  19. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    I've used Ron Clark's rules for the past four years with my students. The first year I used them, I was not very consistent. It was my first year out of special education and into a regular education classroom, so I was just trying to keep my head above water and figure out what I was doing. However, the second year I taught regular ed, I really got into the rules and was consistent with them. Ever since, I would never go back to NOT using them.

    The classroom dynamics are just amazing with the implementation of the rules. The students are supportive of one another and always encourage each other to do better. Students are more willing to take chances because they know their classmates are not going to make fun of them if they don't do something the right way. Plus, they are all very kind and considerate to each other, which makes my life easier.

    I always have a discussion with my students on the last day of school where they share their favorite memory of the school year. Almost 90% of my class talk about our essential rules. There have been a few times where students actually cried because they talked about how badly their classmates in previous grades had made them feel and how nice it was to not be made fun of this year.

    When my students move on to the next grade, those teachers always know the students that came from my classroom because of the students behaviors and how they treat their classmates.

    I use 30 of the 55 rules and teach them all during the first week of school. I teach 6 a day by role playing, discussing, performing skits, etc. My students know that as soon as they are taught, they are expected to be used. In the beginning, the students need to be reminded of the rules at times but it doesn't take long for them to become second nature.

    I cannot say enough positive things about these rules. If you are interested in using them, choose a number of rules that you feel comfortable with. Ron Clark has always said that you do not need to use all 55 rules. Pick the ones that are most important to you. If you're comfortable with them, than you'll be more likely to enforce them with your students.
     
  20. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I love the rules as well, but until y'all's posts, did not know of anyone who actually has used them in the classroom! Does the more positive behavior of the students (due to the rules) automatically lead to better grades? Or are you able to cover more material? Do you think the rules would translate to third or fourth grade as well as they seem to work in 5th? Sorry for all of the questions. I was that kid who always just had to ask Why?, LOL.
     
  21. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    I think that I am able to cover more material and that grades have improved with the use of the rules. I have taught 4th grade the past four years, so the rules were very easy to use with them. I honestly think that any age group could use them. It's just a matter of how you teach the rules to your students so that they understand what they look/sound like in class.
     
  22. uclalum

    uclalum Groupie

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    I agree! As long as you explain and model the rules, they can work with any age group.
    P.S. Happy B-Day Calalilys!:)
     
  23. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I haven't read it but my Principal does a morning assembly every morning. On Monday one of the 5th graders will cite one of the 55 rules. They will exchange a clarification dialogue about it. She will state something about it each day during the morning assembly (as time permits. Then on Friday, she has the 5th graders doing a parade where the students try to remember which rule that student said (with the P restating it and adding something).

    Does it make a difference? I don't know. I can't see any. I think if the teachers were asked to really implement that rule or two in their classroom all week with specific examples it might have more of an impact. They tend to remember what the 5th graders said. I'm not just not sure they internalize it. But they hear these rules every year.
     
  24. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    Thank you :)
     
  25. Mommy2wad

    Mommy2wad Rookie

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    My school district got to hear Ron Clark speak this morning. All I can say is AWESOME! He was wonderful, very inspirational. If any of you get the chance to hear him, please go. You will not be disappointed.
     
  26. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Aug 22, 2007

    Calalilys-
    Do you mind me asking - which 30 did you pick? I expect a challenging group of fourth graders this year, and I would like to try this. Thanks!
     
  27. SunShinePumper

    SunShinePumper Rookie

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    Aug 26, 2007

    Ron Clark spoke to our district on Friday. I hadn't ever heard of him, but he was very inspiring. School starts Monday and I want to try some of his tips. He completely changed the feeling of the year. He is awesome.
     

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