Looping is an educational practice in which a single graded class of children stays with a teacher for two or more years or grade levels. The children and the teacher remain together as the class is promoted. At the end of the second (or third) year in the pattern, the children move on to a new teacher while the looping teacher returns to the lower grade level to receive a new group of students. Although looping is not used in multiage grouping (because a multiage group does not comprise a single class grade), many schools that are considering implementation of a multiage program use looping as a first step.
For students, the benefits of looping include reduced apprehension at starting a new school year, increased continuity, and more in-depth relationships with teacher and with peers (McClellan, 1995). For teachers, the benefits of looping consist of becoming familiar with other developmental stages of children, and working with students and parents for longer periods of time (Mazzuchi & Brooks, 1993). The long-term relationships established through looping have been shown to support student learning.
For further information on looping, refer to the following sources: