Thursday, July 14, 2011

BIST Continum

Yesterday I started a series of posts on a program my school and district have adopted. You can read more about it here, but now I will get on with part 2.BIST

Let me get back to how BIST works in my district and school. As a teacher I wanted to know how does it work, what do I do, when do I do it and what do I say? I forgot to mention that there is a specific language to use with BIST. More on that later. What I had to realize was that although there is a "skeleton" to the BIST program it is VERY fluid an flexible. It is possible that the details of the program changes from school, to school. However, here is the basics.

* When a student is having a difficult time with something he/ she is asked to do you give them a redirect. this is something we ALL do. No matter who you are, when you see a child doing something inappropriate you stop them. The difference is how do you stop them? I am not here to throw stones, but sometimes our initial reaction is not the best. I know I have had MANY a time I have messed up and realized WAY too late that I made the problem worse. I found that I did not want to acknowledge the negative behavior out loud. I did not want to give students the power of disrupting my lesson. So I give a silent redirect. I just hand them on e of Mrs. BainBridge's hand stop signs.What I love best about these signs is that they use the BIST language. :) It is also a very visual reminder for my ELL students who may not know how to read in English yet. They also get to hold on to the card, which I feel helps them remember their behavior was inappropriate and helps me remember who has already had a redirect.
Click on the picture to go to Mrs. Bainbridge's website and download her "Quiet behavior reminder" cards

* If the students continues to struggle they go to the "Safe Seat" This doesn't really have to be a seat, although that is preferred,  I have a separate carpet square in my room where students can go to if they are struggling during our whole group time. I also have an isolated desk and chair as a safe seat for when students are struggling. This is not a place where students are in trouble, it is a place for them to solve figure out or solve their problem. They can be in trouble or not in the safe seat, it depends on you. I tell my students at the start of the year that they will go to the safe seat many times, sometimes they will be in trouble and sometimes they wont, but it is always going to be a place for them and myself to feel safe and work together to figure out what is wrong. Students may mot get out of the "Safe Seat" unless they have processed with the teacher to work out and figure out a way to fix what went wrong. Another part of the "Safe Seat" is that students may place themselves there when they feel they are having an overwhelming feeling they can't manage on their own. I can go on and on about this, I will have to share more later.
Here is a picture of one of my Safe Seats, on the right of my overhead. Separate but still part of the learning environment. Below you will find my second Safe Seat. I ha to dig for this picture! You can see it behind Joker. It is just a squared off place on the carpet and student sit "Criss Cross" until I am ready to talk to them.

*If a child is still disruptive at the Safe Seat he/ she will be asked to go to the "Buddy Room", which is just a classroom outside of their own but where they are still in a learning environment. They are to sit in the Safe Seat there until they show they are ready to return to their own classroom.

*If the disruptive behavior persists, they will either be sent to the "recovery room" or the Office.

If this is a chronic problem, that means that the student is missing a life skill that is stopping their learning. That is when you help them by creating a plan to learn that skill. Here is the deal, none of this matters if the student and teacher don't work together. It is also important for the adults work together as a team and "outlast" the students, or they will have control of your classroom. The most important thing is to work as a team and not undermine each other. Oh and take advantage of resources avaliable to you, ie: a BIST consultant, if you have one.

This now leads me to Protective Planning which I am not very good at but will try to explain in tomorrows post.


  1. I LOVE, LOVE the BIST System! I am going to the conference in a couple of weeks in KC. Are you going?

  2. No I am in NE and they come to us to do our training conferences in June. I think it is because almost our whole district does BIST and use consultants, so they make some bucks from us. It is right after school ends! I went to the 5 day "Basic BIST" last year and to the 2 day "Teaching & Protecting" as well as a 2 day "Building BIST" this last June too. The Teaching & Protecting was a nice refresher for me.

    Are you from KC or just driving/ flying in for it?

    Ms. M

  3. At my school we have morning announcements, the pledge and then we state our goals for life. :-) I hear them in my sleep! lol!
    Live Love Laugh Everyday In Kindergarten

  4. I have seen other schools that do this too. My school is going to start it this coming year. Thanks for sharing Tammy.

    Ms. M

  5. Ms. M~
    I am from KC, and I have worked in multiple school districts across the metro. I have yet to see a whole district implement the system! I came across it when I taught in one of the inner school districts here; however, the whole building was not on the system. I think that's where it failed. I absolutely think it is the best though!

  6. Last year I participated in training on Conscious Discipline which sound similar to the BIST program. CD (conscious discipline) made a huge difference in how my students treat me and more importantly each other. Enjoy watching your children change and grow with BIST

  7. Just wanted to say "THANK YOU!" for your sweet comment on my blog! Notice how it matched the adorable button you made me?! hehe I LOVE it! Hope you're enjoying your summer!

  8. Hey there, totally not on the same topic. I was looking a your classroom picture and I was just wondering what is the name of the book in front the easel ( My new puppy). My school is looking for a writing program.

  9. Hi Jessica, your very welcome. I did notice how your blog matched your button. I love that theme and your button too. :)

    MSBXKTEACH, It is one of the ELL/ ESL programs I use. It is not specifically a writing program. It is called English At Your Command. However, if you still want to read more about it you can find some info here:

    Ms. M

  10. Thank you for this great strategy and the free download!


Thanks for the comment. Please come back again.