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Looping Classes

Education Expert Advice from Barbara Callaghan

Q: My child is scheduled to go into a looping class. What is it?

A: Looping is when a teacher has a class of children for two consecutive years. For example, kids spend two years with the same teacher, first as third graders and then as fourth graders. Then the kids move on and that teacher returns to third grade and has a new group for another two years.

Looping can be very beneficial. The teacher gets to know the learning style of each child in the first year, and then continues to use that knowledge to teach the second year. This continuity also has a positive effect on the group dynamics among the kids. The idea is that the better the kids know each other, the better they will work together, and the stronger their sense of community in the classroom will be.

Finally, looping can bring about better communication between parents and teacher. Both have more time to get to know each other and find ways to work together. Ideally, communication builds from one year to the next.

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After teaching in California for nearly ten years, Barbara Callaghan moved to New Hampshire in 1985 and became a principal. After 10 years as a principal, she returned to teaching, her first love and true vocation.


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