Looping

Looping is a process used in education in some elementary schools. When a class loops, this means that the class has the same teacher in two consecutive years. For example, a teacher who teaches a third-grade class in one year could teach the same students the following year for the fourth grade.

One school, DeGrazia Elementary School, which offers a looping program describes looping as helping to increase student learning for the following reasons:

1. Research shows it gives students 4 to 6 weeks of added instructional time. By having more time in the year, we are able to focus on the individual needs of each student.

2. The students will develop strong peer relationships that will result in positive dynamics with fewer behavior problems.

3. The teacher becomes familiar with each child's strengths and weaknesses. Many young children have anxiety over change. With looping, they know the teacher, their peers, and how the class is structured from the first day of school.

4. By being together for 2 years, the students feel more comfortable and will take more risks in learning new things.

Another reason this is done is if there is one less teacher for one grade than for the grade before it. It is done to save money on hiring an additional teacher. For instance, if there are three third grade teachers and two fourth grade teachers, one third grade teacher may have his or her same class again for fourth grade.

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