Since this doesn't seem to have been brought up yet in the responses to your query, why not practice some ukemi?
I was always taught to make my rolls as smooth and as quiet as possible. There are also many other ukemi skills to practice, but I am not sure you would be familiar with them if you are 5th kyu.
One of my favorites is an ukemi where you bend backwards as if the nage is performing iriminage or a thrust at the throat. As the imaginary nage performs his/her technique, you attempt to blend with the impact by bending backwards and turning your body with your hips so you face the opposite direction. Then you can do a forward roll. This ukemi is also the same for kotegaeshi. If your ukemi skills are better, you can practice your break falls instead of doing the rolls. Hopefully you will know what I am talking about from experience, cause Ill bet its hard to figure out from the text.
Ukemi skills not only increase your understanding of the art but they also help your technique as nage and its fun! Ukemi is also very important for surviving the more advanced techniques, such as koshinage, or even just plain techniques that are fast and furious in execution. Survival is my primary goal right now, so I am focusing a lot on ukemi
. I am sure everyone else has a particular favorite ukemi they could share with Edouard. I am looking forward to it, as I think the stylistic differences will make the discussion interesting.
If you are too sore to practice ukemi or need to mix it up a bit, the aforementioned tenkan is a good idea. I also recommend working on any and all of the basic entering movements and deflections you have learned; if you cannot do those, its hard to get to the throw/pin isn't it? Hopefully as time goes by you will be corrected by your superiors during class. This way you will have a whole new way to practice the same thing!
Sword and jo are also fine. Practice the movements and try to relate it to empty hand Aikido.
I am glad you realize the importance of practicing on your own as well as with others. Since it wasn't mentioned, I decided to remind everyone that ukemi practice is just as important as movements used as nage. Balance in all things.