JumpRope - an SBL Grading Tool

This year, I have been experimenting with JumpRope, a standards-based grade book. Our district currently uses Infinite Campus as their student information system to track grades, attendance, behavior, and many other data points (more on how we currently use IC). I am currently on an Infinite Campus sub-committee of our district's committee on Standards-Based Grading. We are looking at ways we can make the grade book more standards-based learning friendly. While I don't think we will be able to transition completely to JumpRope, I think our 6-12 Instrumental Music PLC can use it effectively during our lessons next year.

JumpRope is designed to be a complete student information system, like Infinite Campus. I am going to focus solely on the standards-based grade book, as that will be the tool we will be using next year. I highly encourage you to go to their website and create a free account to see what you can do!

After logging in, the website launches on the Teacher Dashboard. There is a Welcome Wizard to help you set things up. It walks you through some basic registration information, including attempting to find your school within their database. You are still able to use JumpRope with a free account without your school in their database. The important step in the wizard is the Grading Methodology slide. In the free account, there are three options for a Grading Scale that cannot be changed after setting up your account:

From our Wind Rubric and Percussion Rubric as well as district initiatives, we went ahead with the Rubric Mode.

The next step is setting up courses. As you can see, I added each of the courses for next year, as organized by grade level. JumpRope automatically sorts this list alphabetically. You can import class lists in this via Excel, or hand-enter every student with as much or as little information as you'd like to include.

The next step is beneath the Plan tab. It involves Creating Units, Entering Standards, and Designing Assessments. These Units are linked to particular Courses, but they can be linked to multiple Courses, making it easy to edit them only once! I liken these Units to Categories in Infinite Campus, if you are familiar with that process. Next, I Entered Standards within those units.

Below are the standards from our Wind Rubric. The E and numbers are to differentiate them at a later step from other standards quickly and easily. You can see that I can categorize each standard as Academic or Character (Behavior). The calculation involves how JumpRope uses the grades within that standard to calculate the overall grade. We do not use this feature. If your standards are linked to Common Core standards, you can Align these here. The Advanced Settings allow you to enter more information about the particular standard, if necessary.

Designing Assessments is the next step. In the shot below, you can see the Lesson Pre-Test assessment is selected in the center column. It is linked to multiple standards in the left-hand column. Assessments can be linked to multiple standards across Units as well.

Now we move to the Grade tab. The Assessments (from the previous screen) are listed on the left-hand side. Then we see a list of students (currently our 6-12 Instrumental Music PLC). The Lesson Pre-Test assesses all of the standards listed in the following columns. Each standard gets its own 0-4 grade. The number beneath the standard shows the classes mastery of each particular standard. The number and scale next to each student shows their overall mastery from the assessment. We also see their Academic Total and Character (Behavior) Total. This gives a great visual glance by assessment how your students are doing.

By selecting the gear in the upper right-hand corner, and choosing View by Standard, we get a completely different look of the same data:

JumpRope has a variety of means of reporting all this information out. I have not delved into these tools as much, as I don't think these would be necessary in our situation.

How will we use this next year? We have talked about a couple different options. Would this system be better data collection for our lessons than our Google Form? We have also discussed that we are not currently assessing all of our standards. I think JumpRope would work well as a means of helping us collect that data. My next post will talk about some of the ways we are discussing changing our assessments in the future to cover more of our standards.


Burton Hable

Burton Hable is an instrumental music educator from Central Iowa. In 2013 he helped open Centennial High School in Ankeny, the first time in forty years that a school district in Iowa expanded to two high schools. He served there through 2018 as Assistant Director of Bands: conducting the 10th Grade Symphonic Band, directing the varsity Jazz Collective, co-directing the Centennial Marching and Pep Bands, teaching music theory, and providing individual and small group lessons to brass students in grades 6-12 at Prairie Ridge Middle School, Northview Middle School, and Centennial High School. During his tenure in Ankeny, enrollment in band grew from 450 to nearly 700, the jazz program expanded from four to seven ensembles, and ensembles under his direction were invited to perform at Iowa State University, Harper College, and the Veterans Day Parade in New York City.