We are beginning January where we left off working in in December, jumping rope! I am spending a fair amount of time with the third grade students working on getting them turning and jumping a solo rope. This is a very good, life long exercise that travels well and provides a time saving workout option. It is an excellent way to build muscle and strengthen the heart while having fun.
I am forgoing our normal routines in PE of core strengthening and running to pursue a higher level of jumping skills with self-turning a rope. Students also jump a long rope turned by two people (or I tie a rope to a door handle and turn myself). The long rope helps with the rhythm of jumping and the 'seeing' of the rope movement.
Students will learn to find the timing needed to enter a rope while it is turning and exit jumping while the rope continues to turn. They will run through a turning rope to the other side in both directions. Running through a rope against the direction it is turning requires a small hop over the rope like a small hurdle. Third grade students will also practice turning and jumping into two ropes that are moving in opposite directions at the same time. We refer to this style as Double-Dutch. It is great to see them when they realize they are actually performing this jump. No, not everyone gets it at this level, but enough see others get it to realize that it is possible.