Fostering Community - That BUGS Me!
Along with reviewing and practicing classroom procedures and get-to-know you games, it's important to discuss as a class what a successful and positive learning environment looks like - specifically, how they each have an important part to play and that their choices can affect the whole class, positively or negatively. You might have thought about discussing the characteristics of a positive learning environment, the characteristics of a successful kindergartner, how to be a good friend, etc., and while these things are important, sometimes it can be just as good to confront the issues head on!
Ask any one of your kindergartners and they'll likely know exactly how it feels to be annoyed or 'bugged' by another person's behavior. Spend some time talking about the behaviors that have a tendency to create a negative atmosphere and the things that really 'bug' your students. We're sure this discussion with be enlightening and, while it offers a great segue, what's important for your students to recognize, if they're going to be a successful part of the classroom community, are the behaviors that sometimes get them in trouble with others - their parents, siblings, friends, etc. Being made aware of these behaviors will hopefully help them to think twice before they break into a fit of whining or try to take over the story line in the pretend play corner!
Of course, we think your kiddos will like the bug theme too and are sure to jump in to share their stories during discussion time!