Alternatives to using a whistle?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Epiphany, Apr 28, 2009.

  1. Epiphany

    Epiphany Rookie

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    Apr 28, 2009

    Hi All, This is my first post on this site so hope this is ok! I am completing my teaching degree in November, and now I'm practising in schools I'm trying to work out how to get a class' attention outdoors despite the fact I'm a quiet person (many of my teacher friends have commanding/ loud voices even in normal conversation! is this a learned skill?)

    In particular, I'm not such a fan of using a whistle outdoors during physical education, I don't like the sound - I'm not trying to be precious! and I understand it's essential for stopping play for an injury etcetera, but in a normal PE lesson what are some attention-commanding alternatives? Or even alternative types of whistle to the shrill ones? Would appreciate some advice from the Wise Ones. Thanks!
     
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  3. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Hmm, outside is tough. Most loud things are usually annoying! There are megaphones, squeaky toys, bicycle horns, etc...none of which I would choose over a whistle, but that's just me.

    But don't overlook just using your voice and gestures to get attention. You can raise a hand, and teach the kids to raise their hand when they see you do it. You can assign them spots to sit until they have directions. You can have some other type of gesture that is a signal for the kids to quiet down or gather around.

    As far as stopping play, that's tougher-if kids are running around, probably shouting, a whistle is probably necessary. Maybe you can shop around, sorry I don't know where, to find ones that aren't as loud or shrill.

    Oh, what about train whistles? You know, the wooden ones that often have several holes? Those are never as loud, but still attention getting. Or how about a harmonica? Or a kazoo? Maybe a recorder?
     
  4. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 28, 2009

    Look for a London bobby's whistle, perhaps... or you could use a spent shell casing or the metal cap from a pen or some other small metal cylindrical object, which can produce an amazingly ear-splitting whistle when blown across.
     
  5. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Duck call? Hand bell? A flag?
     
  6. punchinello

    punchinello Comrade

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    An old fashioned school bell works great. I keep it in my bag and let one of the children ring it each day to gather my little ducks. :) I wouldn't like a whistle, either.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I like the bell suggestion. You could also consider bird call wistles. Of course, there's always something like the "cow horn" my mom got me for christmas one year. It looks like a bicycle horn, but when you squeeze the bulb, it moos.....loudly.
     
  8. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    we have to keep recess times ourselves - there are no school bells - I like to use a stop watch - but then again my playground is very small.
     
  9. LakeSophie

    LakeSophie Comrade

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    I use a cow bell I got from a baseball game give away once. Small enough to stick in my coat pocket, but loud enough to know it's time to go in from recess. Plus.. it's different from the whistles the other teachers like to use, so only my class reacts :)
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    I use the whistle sparingly. Mostly to get immediate attention when yelling is not enough.

    When coaching, I can go many practices without using the whistle at all. I loud voice is required though.

    You can try training them to respond to "FREEZE!" when you need them all to stop immediately what they are doing.

    For normal PE instruction, a loud voice or whistle are your options. If your voice cannot be projected, go with the whistle. Hand gestures or visual signals will not be noticed by the kids when they are playing
     
  11. blindteacher

    blindteacher Cohort

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    Perhaps you can try the clapping technique. For example you clap twice, and the students you hear will clap back. And you keep clapping one to three times in certain rhythms until you have the attention of the whole class.
     
  12. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    I use a brass hand bell, too. I found it at an airport of all places!
    The other teacher's and coaches use whistles. I hate them.
     
  13. JustJim

    JustJim Companion

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    May 1, 2009

    Try a bosun's pipe. Its a weird sound they won't confuse with anything else.
     
  14. Epiphany

    Epiphany Rookie

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    Thanks!

    Thank you to all who have replied to my thread so far, I really appreciate your inventive suggestions! I'm so excited to have found this forum too. I'm a nurse who is about to complete my K-6 teaching degree, and so I know that to be effective I need realistic expectations of myself and of my new profession and the threads on this site are fabulous :)
     
  15. LiveNLearn

    LiveNLearn Comrade

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    May 3, 2009

    I have used a recorder (flute) and when the students saw a teacher playing the recorder, they knew it was time to come in.
     

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