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by Lajean Shiney, Teachnet.com
The Lawrence Looping Project is not a technique new to Wichita, but it is to our school. We have several pair of classroom teachers who make up "loops"; in my case, I have fourth grade this year, with my partner teacher teaching her fourth graders from last year again as fifth grade. Next year, I will keep the students from my class and teach fifth grade, and my looping partner will begin her new loop with a fresh class of fourth graders. While some benefits reportedly include giving special ed students a more stable learning environment, I am particularly looking forward to a more long-range curriculum, and for dealing more effectively with students who, say, spend nearly a whole year just getting up to speed on basis math skills, only to go out the door just when things were beginning to get on track.
While there is a fair amount of information written about multi-age classrooms where multiple grades are in one classroom, I have found far less material on "looping" or the other more ambiguous terms used to define it. In the following pages, I have a compilation of information which was available to me during our fact-finding process; email me your own experiences, ideas or questions.
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