Classroom Mangement

How To Improve Classroom Management In P.E. With A Whistle

When it comes to teaching a successful K-5 physical education class, I would consider classroom management to be one of the most important things. You can have the best games and activities, but if you don’t have a way to organize everything then you end up wasting valuable time! 😫

I know I say this a lot, but I wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true! This may be one of the best things to improve your classroom management in P.E. and allow more time for teaching, games, and activities.


My Original Plan:

So when I first started teaching I imagined a perfect world where once I blew the whistle once students would freeze right where they were and everyone would be silent.

Me looking back on my plan today:

Now you may use this in your classroom and if it works, don’t change it!

Although I tried different tips and tricks that year, I never really found anything that ever worked


What Changed:

I realized I needed to make a change and began researching. Someone had suggested (this is before Facebook groups were a huge thing) to incorporate a 3 whistle system.

So essentially you would blow your whistle 3 times and have students take a knee.

Sounds too good to be true? I thought so as well, but was desperate for some help.

I ended up putting this system in place and it began working like a charm!


How It Works:

When students are playing a game or activity, and they hear the music stop and the whistle blow 3 times, they have 5 seconds to:

  • Stop what they are doing
  • Set equipment down so their hands should be empty
  • Take a knee where they are
  • Nice and quiet so they can hear the directions

I’ve been using the 3 whistle system to improve my classroom management in P.E. ever since my first year and it’s something we cover on the first day of school.

We practice this until everyone can do it within 5 seconds.

Sometimes it takes a class longer than others, but students will quickly realize they are losing out on game time, and they will begin reminding students who may forget what to do and help set the expectations.


Benefits Of Using This:

It will save your voice! I used to suffer with sore throats and the loss of my voice almost every week. By using this, it greatly helps as you’re not constantly having to talk over students.

You can also stop a game instantly. Students get hurt, you have fire drills, etc. Being able to stop and organize your class within 5 seconds will definitely impress any administrator the next time you get evaluated!


Who Does This Work For?

This has been absolutely perfect for 1st-5th grade.

I will give you a hint…. 1st grade can definitely do it! Just be patient 😅

I’ve never taught 6-12 besides student teaching, but I’m positive that this would work with them as well!

I don’t use this for kindergarten because the beginning of school is already pretty overwhelming for these guys

Kindergarten = KEEP IT SIMPLE

For kindergarten, I use the 1 whistle freeze system and it works perfectly especially when you exaggerate it as you practice/teach it on the first day


Video Overview

If you’re like me, and prefer the video, you can find it down below. On a side note, I created this a few years ago, but still use it exactly the same way! The only thing I do different is after I blow the whistle 3 times, I begin to count down from 5 silently on my hand (I raise it high in the air), and when I get to 0, students should be nice and quiet. 😎


Stay Connected!

If you haven’t already, feel free to join my Facebook group called the PE Lounge:

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