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A Strong Foundation: Structure & Teaching BIST to Students

Posted by Default Admin on 22 October 2015 | 0 Comments

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Research indicates that teachers' actions in their classrooms have twice as much impact on student achievement as assessment policies, community involvement, or staff collegiality; and a large part of teachers' actions involves the management of the classroom (Marzano, 2003; Marzano & Marzano, 2003).

Checklist of Structures for Beginning the School Year:

(Predictability & Consistency = Trust)


  • Adult created line order
  • Assigned seating where student focus is where teacher predominately teaches
  • Written procedure to line up
  • Assigned seating for carpet activities
  • Written procedure for moving to carpet
  • Specific method to sit on carpet (Ex: criss-cross applesauce w/ spoons in the bowl)
  • Timed transitions—specific starting and ending activities
  • Raise hand to get out of seat
  • Raise hand to talk
  • Written procedure for arrival to classroom
  • Written procedure for dismissal from classroom



  • Adult created seating chart
  • Written procedure for arrival to classroom
  • Written procedure for dismissal from class-the bell does not dismiss students.
  • Adult permission required before talking
  • Adult permission required to get out of seat

Essential 5: 

Utilize the Essential 5 (both verbally and visually) when giving students an assignment or task to provide predictability and structure*

  • Behavioral standards
  • Voice volume
  • Movement around the room
  • Independence level
  • Materials needed
  • Specific standards:  Clear your desk of other materials to decrease distractions
  • Assignment
  • Time allotment
  • Subject
  • Page number
  • What to do if you need help
  • Raising hand
  • Staying in seat
  • Ask a neighbor or table partner
  • Be patient
  • What to do when finished
  • Where paper should be placed
  • Specify options—read, free time activity, complete other homework


  • Terms
  • Responding to Adult Greetings:  Teach students appropriate responses--“Good Morning!” “Hi” Wave, smile, etc.
  • Safe Seat:  A seat in the classroom away from other students to help get back on track.
  • Buddy Room:  A seat in another teacher's classroom to help the student regroup to work back to the safe seat.
  • Recovery Room/Focus Room:  A place where students can go to stop acting out, calm down, prepare an apology and create a plan to be successful
  • Think Sheet:  A tool that the student completes to help him/her take ownership of the problem and create a plan to be successful.
  • Processing:  Questions that the adult asks the student so he/she may take ownership, practice skills and make a plan to be successful.
  • Partnership:  The ability to discuss the problem, be coached and plan with the adult.
  • Redirection Language:  “I see…(disruptive behavior)” “Can you…(desired behavior)” “Even though…(student’s feeling)”
  • Bottom Line:  It is never okay to be disruptive/it is never okay to be hurtful
  • Expectations:  It is always okay to be helpful/it is always okay to do your best
  • Triage:  Daily “check in” with an adult to assess emotions, establish focus about what it means to have a good day and formulate solutions if problems occur.
  • Class Meeting:  Weekly meetings facilitated by the adult to help students solve problems, plan events and maintain a positive classroom community.



  • Define as a class: What is kind, disruptive and hurtful
  • Goals for life--
  • I can be okay even if I am mad.
  • I can be okay even if others aren’t okay.
  • I can be do something even if I don’t want to. (even if it’s difficult)
  • Expectations for safe seat and buddy room (Raise hand to talk; adult permission to leave area; work on classwork; complete think sheet or calm down silently)
  • How and why to complete thinks sheet appropriately
  • How and why to process with teachers appropriately
  • How and why to work back through continuum
  • Apologies ("I'm sorry for______ / Next time I will______ / Do you accept my apology?")


  • Powerful Words: (Ex:  "I feel ______ /  I would like ______ / I can do this")
  • Powerful Actions:  (Ex:  Move self to safe seat, Take a deep breath, Count to 10, Ask for help)
  • Movement to the safe seat
  • Movement to the buddy room
  • Movement to recovery room/focus room
  • Hallway expectations
  • Lunchroom expectations
  • Class meeting format
  • Apologies


Resources needed

  • Practice schedule for procedures (building common area plan)
  • Think sheets
  • Prepared work
  • Data Collection (Consistency chart, BIST tracking sheet, BIST data sheet)
  • Review schedule on calendar to ensure consistent practice/review

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