Monday, November 2, 2015

Jumping Mustangs!

We just completed our rhythms unit.  All students were met with many rope jumping challenges.  Rope jumping is an excellent activity to improve aerobic endurance, coordination, muscle endurance, balance, and develop creativity.  In addition, it is an inexpensive activity and doesn't require much space to perform.  While rope jumping, all the major muscle groups are recruited while jumping.  The arms and hands play a great role in the coordination of the rope swing.  Before we begin the actual rope jumps, students experiement with various rhythmical rope swings:  helicopter, propeller, figure 8 swing, bell jumps, single-side swing and the double-side swing.  Students are encouraged to practice the various jumps forward and backward.  Many students find it is easier to jump backwards.  The third and fourth grade students also had the opportunity to execute partner jumps!  Below is a list of the some of rope jumping skills the students performed.

Rope Jumping Skills
Basic jump single bounce - forward and backward
jogger jump
skier - side to side
bells - front to back
single leg hop - right/left
jumping jacks
scissors (stride jump changing feet)
criss-cross of the rope
HOT PEPPERS!!!!  - speed jumping
double unders
partner jumps - side by side and jumps facing each other

The first graders are still in the beginning stage of rope jumping.  Although there are a few students that can perform more challenging jumps, the majority of first graders are still working on performing the correct swing technique and coordinating the jump with the rope.

All students enjoyed the "Rope Jump Club" activity.  They were given one minute to perform as many jumps as they could perform.  At the conclusion of the minute, they would then go and sign up under the appropriate jump rope club team.  For example, if they performed 46 jumps in one minute, they would be in the "40 Jump Rope Team".  Many students were able to execute more than 100 jumps per minute!  

One of the most favorite activities of the students throughout the entire year is the helicopter jump.  Ask them about it!  It consists of ME standing in the middle of the students.  I am holding this long (8 foot) plastic stick.  I then circle the stick under the students feet while they attempt to avoid getting hit by the stick!  Needless to say, after several rounds of the students performing this skill I get pretty dizzy!  

We will continue to use jump ropes throughout the year for various warm-up and other activities.  The students seem to love the challenge of rope jumping.  Our annual Jumpathon for the 3rd and 4th graders will be held on Friday, January 29th.  This will be a great opportunity for the students to demonstrate their strong rope jumping skills - AND have fun!  

Next unit:  Skating, October 27 - November 12th
November 13 - December 3rd - Fitness
December 4th - January 4th - Gymnastics

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