Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Essential 55 - My First Step to Implementing Practices I Learned at the Ron Clark Academy

This post about classroom management using the Essential 55 Rules from Ron Clark is part of my Visit to Ron Clark Academy series.  You can find all of the posts in that series here.

More than half of teaching is classroom management.  If you have a well managed class, the opportunities for student learning and growth is endless.  And if you don't well....  

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase using one of my links, which helps to support the blog.  All opinions are my own and I only promote brands and products that I have used myself and truly love.  

After visiting the Ron Clark Academy, I realized that I wasn't always following through, and I hadn't explicitly taught them all of the behaviors and skills that I wanted to see in my classroom. Ron Clark's classroom management is amazing!  If you have never had the opportunity to see him in action, check out this video. You will see that the students are engaged, on task, and problem behavior is managed in seconds!

The Ron Clark Academy uses a classroom management system that is based around the Essential 55 Rules detailed in Ron Clark's book  The Essential 55.  They are so important that they have a huge banner with the rules hanging above the stairs for all of the students and visitors to see.

While 55 rules may seem like a lot - and many of the teachers at our school were put off by the amount - I decided to keep them all because I saw first hand how well they had worked at the Ron Clark Academy.

I purchased the poster below from the gift shop at the Ron Clark Academy and immediately hung it up in my classroom.  You can buy one here.

I printed out this version of the Essential 55 for each of my students to keep in their binders.

I bought the Essential 55 Rule Workbook to help practice each of these rules with my students.  

We take time each day during our morning meeting to complete the suggested activities and go over each rule individually.

All of the teachers at the Ron Clark Academy have the same expectations and procedures.  I think the students thrive under these conditions, because they know the routine, and they know exactly what is expected of them throughout the day.

Because my students are with me the entire day, it is easy for me to be consistent with my expectations.  I do tell my students that they are expected to follow these same expectations with specials teachers and substitute teachers even if they aren't explicitly told to do so.

If you would like to buy the book, The Essential 55 to use in your classroom, you can find it on Amazon here.

The Essential 55 has been updated!  Check out the newest version here:

Have you implemented Ron Clark's rules, the Essential 55 in your classroom? I'd love to hear about it in the comments below or tag me on Twitter or Instagram.

And before you leave, head on over to our Giveaway page to enter our current giveaway!

1 comment:

  1. I have a hard time with some of them. Answer with "Yes, ma'am" or "No, sir"?? What is this, 1952? My father wouldn't have expected that, and he was a STICKLER for polite behavior. Saying, "Yes, Mr.______" or "No, Mrs. ___________" is appropriate enough. As for #41 -- PLEASE. It is not our damn business how they answer the damn phone. They have caller ID, they know who they can be formal or informal with me. DO NOT misunderstand me: I completely agree with you that classroom management is EVERYTHING, that consistency is key, and that common language and expectations at a school site make for an amazing school culture. BUT: most of these expectations don't need to be codified, and some of them just need to go! My school has six basic rules. That's it. We have a well established system that we buy into and that is applied TK - 5. This, to me, is off the hook.


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