As we mention to our students when we begin the jump rope unit, the best athletes in the world often train by jumping rope. It builds footwork, endurance, strength, and coordination. But more importantly, it hits on two key elements of PE: fun and fitness.
Our students began their jump rope journeys with practice jumps over a stationary rope lying on the ground and then progressing to “the turn”—the skill of bringing the rope from one’s heels, over one’s head, and down to one’s toes. Then comes the jumping variations: single bounce, double bounce, ski jumps, X motion, forward cross, backward cross … the list of new challenges to try goes on and on! We practiced in stations, used our long rope, and worked on having a growth mindset, finding our specific jump rope challenge, and working on committing the rope movements to muscle memory. At the end of class, the exhaustion and joy were evenly matched.