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Physical Education

Classroom Management Strategies-P.E.


All Teachers need to have classroom management in order to be able to instruct their students.  I don’t think anyone needs to have a good classroom management strategy more than a Physical Education teacher or Camp Counselor.  If things get out of control during a game/activity it’s instant chaos.  Here you will receive a variety of different techniques to use with your students.




Grades: K-8th


  • There’s nothing wrong with a big welcoming smile to greet your new & returning students as they wait outside of gym on the first day in September.


  • The key is to have a set of rules ready to go on the first day.


  • Students need organization and they need to hear your expectations.


  • It’s not necessary to have a big list of rules posted on one big sign saying “GYM RULES”,  but having a rule here or there is ok.


  • EXAMPLES: A quiet sign as they enter the gym, a few line up rules where they exit the gym, a bulletin board with the daily activity, a few bathroom rules posted in the bathrooms.


  • On the first day, discuss being prepared for gym (sneakers, jewelry, etc..), sick/injury note rules, reward system, consequences for behavior etc….


  • Send the children home with a list of the rules that you discussed on the first day.  OPTION:  Require a signature from the parents.


  • It’s okay to come across strong or stern in the beginning of the school year.  


  • You can always ease up as the school year progresses, but it’s much hard to reign them in after you’ve given too much freedom.


  • Every September my students always say “Mr. Lisbona is tougher this year” and I know it’s not true, but you need to set the tone.







  • There must be a strategy every step of the way.


  • Students must know what their expected to do the moment they enter the gym.


  • Examples: Sitting in their squads, sit in a tight group, sit on the circle, begin warm-up &/or stretching, take attendance, read bulletin board for instructions on activity, etc….


  • TIP: Always warm-up before stretching.  The likelihood that a child will pull a muscle is unlikely, but warming up & stretching is a good way to cover yourself.  You never know when you’re going to come across that parent that want’s to know how little Timmy was hurt.  Accidents happen, but at least your covered. 


  • My Students & Campers are taught a specific warm-up & stretch routine that they can do on their own without assistance after 4 or 5 lessons.   This is great to have so they can run this warm-up if your absent (put in your sub plans).  It’s also helpful if you need to set up another game after your warm-up.


  • I prefer to use a wide variety of warm-ups.  MAKE THEM FUN!  You can do a different warm-up almost every day,  just as you would with a game/activity.


  • TIP: The sooner you can get to the fun, the better.  I’ve seen too many teachers over the years wasting too much time talking & figuring out how to control or manage their class.


CLICK HERE if your interested in checking out a short video of what NOT to do.  You may be surprised of some of the things I point out in this video.  I was actually looking for a video with good classroom management and I found the opposite.  I’m not here to degrade anyone, but there were a lot of mistakes made in this class.  Some of views may same strict, but correcting them in the beginning of the school year, will make life easier for all.




  • Allowing student to spin in circles while teacher is talking. 


  • A couple other boys focused on each other instead of teacher.  This needs to be noticed and corrected by the teacher.


  •  As I said earlier, sit kids down when you’re talking.  The standing students are moving around & distracted.


  • At the end of class, I liked how she brought the kids in close to talk, but she left someone standing and you can see he was moving around & distracted.


  • During the 2 minute mark, she’s trying to explain something, but again some kids are standing and distracted.



  • Set up the equipment for the activity prior to the arrival of the students.  When this is not possible make sure the equipment is easily accessible.


  • Once you begin explaining the first game, don’t be afraid to stop what you’re doing if someone is behaving and/or you don’t have their intention.


  • Students can be given warnings when they misbehave, if it’s not a severe offense.  A quick whistle or verbal command to be quiet is fine.


  • TIP: Two techniques you don’t want to overuse. 1. THE WHISTLE:  If you use it every time to get the children quiet it will fall on deaf ears after awhile.  2. The SILENT TREATMENT, meaning you pause until they get quiet.  I use this sometimes, but I find it wastes a lot of time if you do it too often.


  • Bad behavior that becomes repetitive should not be disciplined with the same technique over and over.  For example: If the same student  keeps whining, eventually they will go to my MOAN & GROAN ZONE. I’m not going to waste the time of the class for one student.


  • Let the children know that you will take questions after your done explaining.


  • Use students to demonstrate the activity only when needed for the more complicated game.


  • Don’t be afraid to stop an activity, especially in the beginning stages to explain and give tips to the kids.  Maybe they understand most of the rules, but one rule needs to be reviewed in the middle of the game.  This will improve the game success.
  • Example of stopping a game: 


  • Most of us know that after our students play the game for a little while, they’ll get the hang of it.  Knowing this, when they start to ask too many questions I usually joke with them and tell them I ran out of answers 🙂


  • TIP:  When you’re talking to your class, sit them down.  It seems strange, but they listen better when sitting.




  • Ingrain good sportsmanship in your Students & Campers.


  • I have a simple method that works and it will work for you.


  • From the moment the children play their first activity, they will here me make comments such as, nice shot, good save, good try, don’t worry, good game etc… As the game continues I will say “I didn’t anyone else say nice try to Stevie” and you’ll hear a few kids say it right after.  Repeat this method and eventually they will do it on their own.


  • My Students & Campers are not allowed to say “WE WON”, but they’re allowed to say “GOOD GAME”.  Trust me when I tell you that it helps with moral & behavior during and at the end of a game.


  • When students line up to leave, they’ll wait in anticipation for their reward.


  • TRIVIA QUESTION: If my students behaved and no one sat out or sent to the MOAN & GROAN ZOAN they will receive a star by their classes name & a sports trivia question for an extra star. Example: Who won the Yankees game yesterday?  What’s better a birdie, bogey, eagle, par? What is the biggest bone in the body?


  • 2ND OPTION FOR EXTRA STAR: Choose 3 students to shoot a foul shot, play me 1 v 1 in badminton, catch a football pass etc.. You get the idea 🙂


  • Each class per grade level is fighting to have the most stars by June 1st.  The winning class of each grade, receives a fun day!  This is extra gym time and a PARTY with snacks & prizes.  


  • Seek out your PTO/PTA for the funds.  If it’s only once a year, hopefully it won’t be an issue.  $200 should suffice.


  • Lining up the students with a trivia is also a good way to send your students out of the gym quietly and helps to calm them down after a competitive game.


  • You don’t want to send your class back to their teacher all wound up.


I hope you found these tips useful.  Please feel free to leave a question or comment below.

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