I am in the midst of my second looping class. A few years ago a colleague and I were discussing how we would like to try a looping classroom. Looping is “when a teacher is promoted with his/her students to the next grade level and stays with the same group of children for two or three years” (Rasmussen, 1998). We both went to our principal to discuss the possibility and he was on board right away. My colleague had her first grade class and moved with them to second grade while I started with a new group of first graders. We kept in close contact and right away she noticed how different the beginning of the year was for her. Everyone was more comfortable with each other, she was able to continue where she left off both academically and socially.
When I took my first group of first graders on to second grade with me I noticed the same things that she did. It was amazing how easy the beginning of the year was. We all knew each other, we were comfortable, and expectations were clear and consistent. I assessed each one of my students at the beginning of the year but the assessments were much smoother and I had a lot of knowledge of my students as readers already. We really just picked up where we left off. It was great for all of us.
“Another benefit of looping cited by teachers is the opportunity to get to know students over two years” (Rasmussen, 1998, p.1). I can say that after having my students in my class for 9 months, I feel like at about month 7 or 8 is when I really know them as a person and a learner. It’s a gift to be able to further our teacher/student relationship beyond that and dig deeper so that I can help them become even more successful in not only their reading, but every aspect of their learning.
Here are some links that I found helpful if you are looking for more information:
www.edweek.org and then search “looping”
www.ascd.org and search “looping”
https://eric.ed.gov/ and search “looping”
Rasmussen, K. (1998). Looping Discovering the Benefits of Multiyear Teaching. Education Update, 40(2). Retrieved June 28, 2017, from http://www.ascd.org/publications/newsletters/education-update/mar98/vol40/num02/Looping.aspx