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The End of Molasses Classes: Getting Our Kids Unstuck--101 Extraordinary Solutions for Parents and Teachers

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  1,018 Ratings  ·  156 Reviews
New York Times bestselling author and educator Ron Clark challenges parents, teachers, and communities everywhere embrace a difference in the classroom and uplift, educate, and empower our children.

Read this book to find out why so many across the country have embraced these powerful rules.

· Set the electric tone on day one
· Teach your children how to study—don’t expect
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by Touchstone
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 30, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I generally don't enjoy books written by people who feel the need to plaster their face all over the book. Ron Clark loves putting his face on everything (front cover, back cover, countless photos, etc.). While I think Mr. Clark is probably a great educator and doing wonderful things for the students at RCA in Harlem, I find his books a bit frustrating. This book contains "101 extraordinary solutions" to get "our kids unstuck" from boring, problematic classrooms/educators/parents. My primary bee ...more
Jason Palmer
There are some very motivating and insightful stuff for teachers in this book. I'm reading parts of it to my MTE508 students lately. This book certainly goes to show that you can't be a great teacher and have a life outside of school. You can be good, not great. You have to decide. Ron made the decision to become a great teacher. Personally, I'd rather be a great father. I don't know of a single person who has been able to do both.
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teaching
I admire this man's dedication but I think you can be a wonderful teacher without going to his extremes. He admits that he only sleeps 4-5 hours a night and has little time for family, friends, hobbies, or relaxing. It is amazing that he has the patience to be such a good teacher when he does not take any time for himself. I disagree with some of his philosophies but I agree with his overall message that teachers have the power to do great things if they are willing to try. He makes up statistic ...more
Aug 29, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As wonderful as the 101 solutions are, some (many?) of the examples discussed are ideal but not practical in many situations. I also struggled with the fact that teaching 5-8th is very different than upper level high school; however, I found ways to picture modifying some powerful solutions. That being said, as a mother of 3 young kids, I struggled with the reality of certain situations in MY real world (picking up kids before daycare closes and spending my evening with them and my husband...the ...more
I'm not rating this one yet because I have to cogitate on it first. After reading and following Charlotte Mason's views of: Let the students interact with the book, and get out of the way yourself, I have his view which is to stand on the desk and sing and dance your way into the kids' minds and hearts. He does have the kids do skits about what they've read- which is a great way to get the story into a child's mind. And some motivation seems almost mandatory in a class setting where children hav ...more
Holly Jorgenson
Aug 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Should be required reading for all teachers AND parents. I especially loved the parts about not being a helicopter parent and allowing your child to experience consequences. I completely agree with the author that teachers should not give extra credit and that, by doing so, we actually LOWER the academic standards we're always bragging about. This author really loves teaching and working with kids. He has so much enthusiasm for making the curriculum come alive and capturing students' attention. ...more
Jean Brazil
Mar 29, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The amazing Ron Clark, Disney teacher of the year and founder of the Ron Clark Academy, gives helpful and motivational advice to both teachers and parents. However, I wonder how much can be applied outside of the ideal situations he has: with less supportive parents and the rules and limitations of a public school, a class of severe special needs students like I teach and yes, an energy and motivation level not up to the level of his. It is something to consider, but in a way, a very frustrating ...more
Ron Clark is a teacher and administrator who saw a need for a radical reform in the way we educate our kids here in the USA. He has used the techniques he discusses in “The End of Molasses Classes” in his own classrooms and at RCA (Ron Clark Academy) with great success – creating enthusiastic hordes of students AND teachers, who live to learn and love to explore their world. You probably need to see this man in action for the full effect, but listening to him narrate the audio edition of the boo ...more
Angie Stich
Nov 24, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was curious about the Ron Clark hype and, honestly, it's exactly that: hype. I do share some of his fundamental beliefs (raising the bar rather than teaching to the average/lowest common denominator), though I don't necessarily agree with him about how to go about it. Using food as rewards? Never. Failing kids when absolutely clear expectations about what is required to succeed haven't been laid out? Cruel and unethical.

I stopped reading after his passage about plastering the girls' bathroom a
Maria Ryan
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Every teacher in the world should read this book and probably every parent. Alot of what Ron Clark has done does seem very unrealistic but really can't we just attempt to teach the way he suggests. Really, if you don't love the kids and love teaching...choose another profession! I am going to reread this one. I really want to keep reminding myself: "We have no time for fear" "A smile will erase any error" Exhibit the same energy you expect from your audience" "Laughter can help us all through an ...more
Adam Shields
Aug 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short review: An encouraging look at how we can change education from one of the more innovative leaders in education. Ron Clark is a teacher, not a researcher. He runs a school with the express purpose of teaching teachers. So the rooms have 30 kids, but seating for 80-100 adults to see what goes on in the classroom. In the four years since it opened about 10,000 adults have seen how teachers can learn how to teach to the needs of the child.

A longer review is on my blog at
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Absolutely over the top. Beyond over the top. So if you're the kind of person who gets irritated by someone who seems to have limitless energy, drive, and determination, this might not be the book for you. But if you're looking to read some amazing stories about the power of education, to be inspired on a grand scale, and to find a spark of hope, you should probably read this right now.
Lisa Marie
Sep 21, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Completely horrible. I don't see how it would help parents or even teachers, except maybe private school teachers. And it is so self-agrandizing, with that gee-whiz-who-me humility while tooting his own horn, it was sickening. Horrible read.
Lauren Rutledge
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to be this teacher!!! What an awesome book for teachers...and parents. Thank you, Ron Clark!
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Confession: I was persuaded by the raves this book has received on Instagram. I was looking for something inspirational to keep me pumped throughout the summer.

I applaud Mr. Clark's verve and commitment. However, no teacher should be obligated to stay on campus until 5:45 daily, and no teacher should feel guilty for not doing so. To remain effective, teachers need to take care of themselves, including rest (since Clark appreciates research and data, perhaps someone should alert him to the healt
Memory Toast
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While not everything in this book applies across the board, there's plenty to think about and some great ideas for everyone. While the title was a little off-putting to me, (I'm wary of things that sound over the top), I'm glad I gave it a read anyway, because it was a fun and I appreciated the author's passion.
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
I laughed. I cried. I found hope.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, pedagogy
Ron Clark's examples are quite inspiring, albeit a bit vague. I really would love to visit RCA to see the practices he described in action. Maybe one day.
Aug 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an informative and inspiring book weather you work in the field of education or you are a parent.
Sep 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of Ron Clark 's books. If you want to be an exceptional teacher this book is a great guidebook,
Blake Hiemstra
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent look at the Ron Clark Academy and what makes it such a special place.
Aug 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teachers
Ron Clark is just amazing. I don't know how he has time to do everything he does - though he does acknowledge that if he had his own children things would definitely be different, and I don't think he is married.

Some of the things he does:

1. Make wild, extraordinary promises before he has come up with any plan or even knew he had any intention of doing that thing (e.g. putting a tube slide in the school);

2. Turns children's lives around by affirming their dreams, and going to their basketball ma
I haven't read Clark's Essential 55, so this was my first book by this author. Like Rafe Esquith, you can certainly get swept up in the enthusiasm and the great experiences for students he describes (T-Rex head over a toilet like Jurassic Park in the middle school bathroom? Scooby Doo magic sliding bookshelves? Trips around the world? So much to love). He is a bit less judgmental than Esquith, and acknowledges some real world concerns in trying to implement changes in education. I think there's ...more
Becky Woodall
This book is easy to engage with. Ron's enthusiasm for his message and energy bursts onto the page. His practical advice for teachers is comes with a healthy dose of honesty. The strength of the book lies in the examples he gives of his applied knowledge.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: education
For those of us who don't have a school named after us, it's hard to implement all the strategies Ron Clark lays out in this book. You can, however, make changes here and there as an individual teacher inside your classroom (use flash cards, songs, music, and role-playing as mnemonic strategies to make the information stick).

I have seen that there is a trend going on (I don't know how long it's been around) in these types of "off the book" (quite literally) teaching techniques, where the teache
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Ron Clark has had America's attention since the movie (starring Matthew Perry) a few years back about him inspiring the children in an under-achieving East Harlem school to educational greatness. He was named "Teacher of the Year" by Disney and became Oprah Winfrey's first pick of her "Phenomenal Men". It was during a 2001 appearance on Oprah's television show that she suggested, during a commercial break, "You've got to write a book about all of the things that you do to inspire children". This ...more
Karen Korb
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Thoughts On The Book: This summer some of our reading specialists were allowed to attend a Ron Clark training. When they got back they were so excited and decided to have a Facebook book study. We were called Educational Runners. We were each given a chunk of the book to read and then five questions about that particular chunk. I had never heard of Ron Clark prior to this and I was sold hook, line, and sinker. As a teacher of 25+ years sometimes we find ourselves getting stale in the classroo ...more
Jul 09, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the title I was hoping this book would be more about specific active learning strategies I can use in my classroom. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, but it did have several good ideas still. The most valuable takeaway from this book for me was the importance of having high expectations for my students. I do appreciate his ideas for doing so.

The problem with this book is that reading about all that Ron Clark does at his school can be rather disheartening for me. I feel like I work real
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting book. Ron Clark is an inspirational and tireless educator, mentor, and leader. He may have too much passion for his work (I think he said he was separated), but gives many examples of how anyone can think out of the box, even if just a little, to push forward the next generation.
I was motivated to read this book out of my general interest in the education field. Beyond that, I quickly realized I had heard of his schools travels on many media outlets in the past, including Oprah
Aug 10, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, nonfiction
Before my first year of teaching I read Ron Clark's The Essential 55 and loved it. I highlighted and dog eared much of the book. When my principal gave us this book to read this summer (she always gives us summer reading, and I honestly like the "school wide book club" feeling even if I don't always enjoy the books she chooses), I was looking forward to it because I remember Ron Clark’s enthusiasm for teaching. While reading the first part of this book, I was overwhelmed by things that I found C ...more
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  • What's Math Got to Do with It?: Helping Children Learn to Love Their Least Favorite Subject--and Why It's Important for America
  • Never Work Harder Than Your Students & Other Principles of Great Teaching
  • The Daily Five
  • Fires in the Mind: What Kids Can Tell Us about Motivation and Mastery
  • Awakened: Change Your Mindset to Transform Your Teaching
  • Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning
  • Lighting Their Fires: Raising Extraordinary Children in a Mixed-up, Muddled-up, Shook-up World
  • Teaching with Intention: Defining Beliefs, Aligning Practice, Taking Action, K-5
  • The Essential Conversation: What Parents and Teachers Can Learn from Each Other
  • Learn Like a PIRATE: Empower Your Students to Collaborate, Lead, and Succeed
  • Reading Reasons: Motivational Mini-Lessons for Middle and High School
  • No More "I'm Done!": Fostering Independent Writers in the Primary Grades
  • Teaching Outside the Box: How to Grab Your Students by Their Brains
  • What Great Teachers Do Differently: Fourteen Things That Matter Most
  • Igniting a Passion for Reading: Successful Strategies for Building Lifetime Readers
  • Teach Like a Pirate: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life As an Educator
  • Teaching with Love and Logic: Taking Control of the Classroom
  • Notebook Connections: Strategies for the Reader's Notebook
Ron Clark has been called "America's Educator." In 2000, he was named Disney's American Teacher of the Year. He is a New York Times bestselling author whose book, The Essential 55, has sold over 1 million copies and has been published in 25 different countries.

--from the author's website

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