FDELK is the acronym for the new Full Day Early Learning Kindergarten program in Ontario and it represents much, much more than just going to school all day. The program is based on the Reggio Emilia Inquiry approach to learning, which has been in existence in Italy for over 50 years. It is a new teaching/learning approach for Ontario, however, and some teachers are still working out a few of the kinks. It is well worth the effort, though, as the results I am seeing in the schools are very exciting.Imagine how delighted I (Cathy) was when I visited one of my practicum schools to observe a student teacher working in a FDELK placement and discovered not only had she embraced the inquiry learning process, she was sometimes leading the teachers in the approach. Her mentor teacher proudly showed me some of the things our student teacher, Victoria, had created for the class. While exploring 3D shapes, Victoria created for an with the students a: 3-D Bingo game; 3-D shape story; 3-D treasure hunt ; 3-D survey; and, 3-D art.
I knew the 3-D exploration was working too. As I watched a small group of K’s make sets of counters to add up to ten, one of the boys suddenly exclaimed, “Look! I made a rhombus !” Ahhh, to be so smart at 5. But it takes good teaching to guide them there.