Looping is the practice of advancing a teacher from one grade level to the next along with his or her class. At the end of a "loop" of two or more years, the teacher begins the cycle again with a new group of students.
"I will have a looping cycle of two years. I began my looping cycle in first grade following my students up to second grade. At the end of my two year cycle, I will return to first grade and start the cycle over again."
Teachers and students in looping classes need not start from scratch every fall, learning new sets of names and personalities, establishing classroom rules and expectations, etc. Most teachers find that students remain on task far longer at the end of the first year; accordingly, teachers estimate that they gain a month of learning time at the start of the second year (Grant and others).
"I have seen this first hand already within the first three days of teaching this year. I was able to start teaching my very first day of class. I already knew all of my students' name and interests. They knew all of my expectations the minute they arrived in my classroom. We picked up right where we left off in June."
Spending several years with a class enables teachers to accumulate more indepth knowledge of students' personalities, learning styles, strengths, and weaknesses. This longer contact reduces time spent on diagnosis and facilitates more effective instruction. It also helps teachers build better relationships with parents (Paul S. George and others 1996, Simel, Robert D. Lincoln 1998).
"As soon as my students walk into my classroom, I know which ones I need to challenge and which ones need more support. I can build on my students' interests from last year and bring them into the curriculum this year."
For students, having the same teacher and classmates for two or more years provides stability and builds a sense of community. Looping reduces anxiety and increases confidence for many children, enabling them to blossom both socially and as learners. Looping appears to have positive effects on behavior and attitude.
"My classroom is truly a close knit family. We built a strong community last year and it continued as soon as they walked into the classroom this year. We know eachother's families, likes, dislikes, etc. Confidence is also key. A wide range of my students came into first grade with a very shy personality. This year they came in confident as ever!" 
Benefits to Students
  • Learning is enhanced with increased stability
  • Develop predictable, meaningful relationships
  • Stronger sense of security and belonging
  • Stronger student friendships
  • More individualized instruction because the teacher knows the students so well
  • Shy children are more confident
Benefits to Teachers
  • Begin school with better understanding of child’s learning style and abilities
  • More efficient use of time at the beginning of the year
  • Fewer discipline problems and absences
  • Curriculum is built upon knowledge of previous year, including a detailed knowledge of student’s strengths and weaknesses
  • More productive, meaningful parent-teacher conferences
  • More cooperative work among students
  • Increased job satisfaction
Benefits of Parents
  • See their children in strong, reliable relationships
  • View themselves as partners and are more likely to be involved with children’s education
  • Better communication between home/school
  • Children are excited and enthusiastic about going to school

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