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I’m going to share with you one of my students all time favorite jump rope activities.
The game of graduation wins hands down as the favorite jump rope activity for my students. Graduation is one of my favorites as a teacher as well – here’s why. It can be played cooperatively or competitively. It teaches great rope turning and students who might be struggling can get some peer coaching or easily some 1 on 1 with me. The object of graduation is to get into the highest grade possible. Students progress through the grades by running into the turning long rope jumping each time one additional jump progressing from kindergarten where they just run straight through the rope, no jump. Then they come back around to the same entering side and to be in first grade, they run in, they jump once and then they run out. Second grade they run in, they jump twice and run out and so on. When a student misses, they take the place of a turner and on going back to restart the game they restart in kindergarten.
My instructions include how to be a great turner. I tell my students the rope needs to be turning the ground. You’re turning elbow stays next to your body. The rope needs to be moving nose to toes when it’s closest to the person who’s about to run in. And I always tell my kids, great turners make it easy for their jumpers. So when I see a student jumping, I always first congratulate the turners on helping them be successful. My students work in groups of three, two turners, one jumper, and at first my students work cooperatively. I’ll say your group’s goal is to get everyone into second grade when you’ve achieved your goal, come see me. This way the turners may slow down the rope a little bit to help their friend be successful. They coach each other to chase rope in after it hits the ground and while they’re working towards getting their entire group into second grade, I can look for students who are really struggling and bring them over to a rope where I’m the turner and this allows me to give small group instruction to kids who really need a little extra one-on-one.
Once I have everyone in second grade, I might then increase the number, see if you can get everyone into fifth grade. We might do a big class cheer when everyone gets into the grade where they’re actually in. And this game ensures that these students each know how to go in on a turning rope, jump at least a couple times and run out. Finally, I have the students play competitively. They play the competitive version really similarly. The goal being to get into the highest grade and if a student misses, they take the place of a turner and on the next turn they come in to be the jumper they start over in kindergarten. I just love the simple game that allows my students to work with independence, cooperatively, or competitively. Do you have a favorite jump rope activity that your students like? I’d love to hear about what works with your students.