Mrs. Beam's Blog

Universal American School, Dubai KG1

July 11, 2017…

Hi KG1-KB!!!

Just thinking of my kiddos today and hoping everyone is having a GREAT summer so far!

I am spending time with family and enjoying the beach, summer vegetables from the garden, beautiful blue skies and puffy white clouds, a little golf and lots of relaxing.

Please tell my students I miss them and look forward to seeing them in September, just down the hall from me, when they begin KG2!!!

Love, Mrs. Beam 🙂

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June 17, 2017…

Good evening parents!

I wanted to share a quick update to my Thursday post regarding Ms Gen. As it turns out, she developed a virus and her doctor suggested she not come to school this week. Instead, she is trying to get better and will travel to Philippines Sunday. Her mom’s funeral service is later this week.

In case you were planning to send her a gift or thought, please hold onto it and bring to her in September. She will be away for the entire summer.

Keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you and goodnight! Mrs Beam

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June 15, 2017…

As I typed the date above, I realized that this time next week, I will be in the air flying home to North Carolina to see my family and friends for the summer! Wow,  I am still amazed that June is now half over and only 3 more school days with our KG1 class! We’ve been counting down the days on the calendar and each morning I say “only ___ more days until Mrs. Beam cries”. They will tell you that I also say, I don’t want to think about it… so bittersweet each end of school year. I have seen them GROW SO MUCH… LIKE THE BUTTERFLIES THEY ARE BRINGING HOME TODAY! The butterfly is a symbol of growth, perseverance, independence and beauty. It’s what I think of when I see these precious faces each day! I want them to DREAM BIG and accomplish great things! Thank you so much for sharing them with me these past 10 months… my life is forever richer from the relationships I build with my students each year. And the parents that make them such AMAZING kids… from my heart, Thanks!

On a personal note regarding Ms. Gen. She received a sad message early this morning that her mother, in the Philippines has passed away. She was not at school today. I did not share with the students that her mom passed away, but if you want to have that conversation you are welcome to. She is planning to be at school on Sunday and Monday (to see the students) and leaving for home on Tuesday. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers as she is grieving.

For those of you who are traveling to your home countries or vacationing and holiday-ing this summer, I wish you great fun and safe travels. Enjoy those times together as we honestly never know what the future holds. I wish you great memories that will last a lifetime!

So, what’s left to do? We are truly relaxing and enjoying our last few days together. We have been making compliment/positive messages for each student. Everyone has an opportunity to share something about their friend that makes them smile. I am writing them on paper and sending them home. We are doing a couple each day, so by Tuesday all will be complete! It’s been a great time of reflection too! 

Sunday, we will visit Ms. Amanda one last time for Gross Motor Skills class.  We are finished with Show and Tell (it’s Mrs. Beam’s turn now) 🙂 We are finished with library classes. Mr. Fields came for our last Guidance lesson today, and he spoke to us about Summer Safety. Please have those conversations with your child too about telling an adult of an emergency, what to do if you are lost in an airport and even memorizing a mobile number if possible! The Dramatic Play Area is closed now. It’s super hot outside on the playground. So……. we are still learning cool things about the calendar and math, we are reviewing our letters and numbers, we are adding and subtracting, we are writing Mrs. Beam a message each morning, we are adding the last few pages to our writing journals, we are exploring at Table Tops, we are reviewing math, literacy and social skills at learning centers and we are enjoying our friends in free (inquiry) centers.

We will play our instruments and sing some songs this week, read some more cool books this week and maybe even help Mrs. Beam and Ms. Gen tidy up the classroom.

As I said before, if your child will not be at school on Tuesday (the last day) PLEASE notify me, so we can all say our proper goodbyes. It truly matters to me!

Please see this very important blog post about Supply Lists and Important Dates for the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year.
http://sites.uasdubai.ae/uasdubaies/2017/06/15/20172018-important-dates-and-supply-lists/

TUESDAY, JUNE 20 IS THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL. ALL STUDENTS WILL DISMISS AT 11:45!!!

WOO- HOO, WOO-HOO… WE ARE READY FOR KG2!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for all you do……….. HAPPY HAPPY WEEKEND…….. RAMADAN KAREEM!!!!!!

Mrs. Beam 🙂

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June 8, 2017…

 is on it’s way…

We’re down to our LAST FULL WEEK of KG1! Only 8 more school days left til Summer!

We had a really great week and I appreciate you having those “talks” with your child about their PRINCIPLED BEHAVIOR AND LISTENING TO MRS. BEAM AND MRS. GEN. Most of them seemed to have their “listening ears” on the past few days!

We are finished with swimming for the year!

We turned in ALL OF OUR LIBRARY BOOKS ON TIME!!! 🙂

This coming week will be our last week of Show and Tell!

We will Move On Up to take a peek at KG2 this coming Sunday, June 11. Again, remind your child that they will see 3 different teachers as we rotate to the classrooms, but they will not know their actual teacher until they return in September 🙂 A bit confusing for them!

This will be our last week of library and Ms. Amanda’s Gross Motor Class.

For sure, things are winding down. We will send home portfolios and all work samples on Thursday, June 15. These are for you to keep! A nice little momento from our great year in KG1! We will send home the change of clothes and art aprons on Tuesday, June 20 (just in case there are any accidents) as we had 3 this week!

I hope to see all parents on or before June 20, to say final goodbyes. Again, there will be no formal party or celebration, but Mrs. Beam is taking lots of pics for the flickr page. So, keep watching over the next couple of weeks for lots of smiles!!!

Lastly, we said our farewell to Yousef this week. He will travel soon with his family and we wish his a wonderful summer. We are looking forward to seeing him next year in KG2!!!

   

   HERE’S TO ANOTHER GREAT WEEK OF KG1-KB!!!

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June 1, 2017…

And another week has passed, just like that! I cannot believe we have 13 days of school left! It has been the fastest year of my life 🙁

Some things to plan for and think about in the coming weeks…

  • Ramadan schedule will continue til the end of school.
  • Thank you for picking up your child between 11:20-11:30 each day. We have meetings and planning as soon as students leave, so I truly appreciate you respecting our work time.
  • Last day of school is June 20, with 11:45 Whole School Dismissal. Buses depart and parents pick up at this time.
  • A couple of parents have asked about a Year End party. Due to Ramadan and a shortened school day, we will not have any more celebrations. Our KG1 Fun Day, last week, was basically our end of year celebration. I hope to say “goodbye” to all parents by the last day of school. If your child rides the bus home each day, perhaps you could pick them up one day or on June 20, so I can say goodbye to you for the summer! I will be returning to UAS next school year, however, in case I don’t see you 🙂
  • We sent home a small slip asking when your child’s last day will be. Please return ASAP, as Ms. Gen and I have things to prepare to send home (portfolio, change of clothes, nametags, etc, etc). If you are traveling and your child will be leaving before June 20, we want to have everything ready for you. PLUS, IT IS SO IMPORTANT THAT YOUR CHILD AND OTHERS, HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO GIVE HUGS AND SAY GOODBYE FOR THE SUMMER! 
  • Each of you returned the paper earlier that your child is returning to UAS next school year (which is wonderful so I can still see them). But just in case that has changed, please let me know ASAP. Transitions can be quite difficult and Mr. Kevin Fields (our KG1 Guidance Counselor) is holding some Goodbye sessions to help kids cope and understand when they have to move or change schools.
  • Along with that, I am adding the link to Mr. Field’s blog. It has many wonderful strategies on a variety of topics, including how to handle your child as he/she becomes more independent and confident. Setting boundaries for them is so important, especially as you enter into the summerES Counselor Blog I think you’ll find this very helpful!!!
  • LAST DAY OF SWIMMING IS TUESDAY, JUNE 6TH!!! 
  • ALL LIBRARY BOOKS ARE DUE THIS SUNDAY, JUNE 4. No more checkout this year.
  • No sugary sweets (candy, chocolate, rice crispie treats, doughnuts, cupcakes, cookies, etc)  for snack please. Healthy fruits and vegetables are the BEST 🙂
  • Moving on Up Day… on June 11, our students will visit the KG2 teachers for a short introduction of what to expect next year. Please help me by explaining to them, that this is just to “show them” the classrooms and see what KG2 looks like. In no way should they wonder which of those teachers will be theres next year. As a matter of fact, only 2 of the 5 current KG2 teachers will be returning next year, in that same role. Ms. Gen will take them, as I will be getting visitors from KG1 🙂
  • Have that important talk each night and each morning with your child about Principled and Respectful behavior. The past couple days have been better, but our level of excitement is elevated to say the least. 13 more days of school, means 13 more days of doing the right thing… I know, they know!!!
  • Keep reading to your child each night and asking them how their day was. We are still learning so many wonderful things! Smile! Take a deep breath, and enjoy your child!
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May 27, 2017…

Sunday, May 28 begins our Ramadan Schedule at school. For our PK-KG1 students, school begins at 8:30. You may bring your child to playground at 8:10, but NOT until then.  Students will be counted tardy after 8:30. Students who get picked up should be picked up at 11:20, no later than 11:30. Students who ride the bus will depart at 11:30. Students who have been attending after school care all year should be picked up at 1:30, with the rest of the school dismissal.

A couple of you have expressed your concern for only the 3 hours for our KG1 students. The reason for this is that our instructional day is decreased by 2 hours (school wide and as determined by KHDA), and therefore our 5 hour day becomes 3 hours during Ramadan. My students are receiving the same amount of “classroom instructional time”, as students in KG2-Grade 12. The only difference is we have our students with us at all times and older students go out of the classroom with specialists teachers for PE, Music, Art, Arabic, Islamic, Lunch, etc. Indeed this is a short school day for the next few weeks, but we will continue to review and follow our normal routine, as much as possible 🙂

We will swim this TUESDAY, so please send your child (as normal) for swim day. Swimsuit under their school uniform, along with towel, SWIM CAP, swim shoes, dry underwear and goggles (optional).

ONE SNACK… beginning tomorrow, due to our shorter school day, we will only have ONE snack each day. Please continue to send water bottle as we will continue to go outside each day, even if for a few minutes.

HEALTH ALERT! There has been a virus going through the classroom and I know of at least 3 students who have experienced high fever, stomach ache with diarrhea or vomiting and strangely enough conjunctivitis/pink eye!!! PLEASE KEEP YOUR CHILD AT HOME IF THEY HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS, AS IT IS HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS!!!

Please continue to have a conversation with your child each morning when they are preparing for school, regarding being PRINCIPLED and listening to Mrs. Beam and Ms. Gen. Behaviors are on the rise still, and I’m sure it’s because of Ramadan, last week’s Fun Day and knowing the end of the year is coming soon. I have had to sit out many students to reflect on their behavior. Don’t be alarmed if they tell you they were in Stop and Think. But do, help me to help them, be their best at school EVERYDAY:)

A SPECIAL CONGRATULATIONS TO KAREEM AND HIS FAMILY WITH THE ARRIVAL OF

BABY BROTHER MALEK!!! 

PRAYERS AND WELL WISHES TO LEA, AS SHE HAD A SMALL BREAK TO HER ARM LAST WEEK ON THE PLAYGROUND… BEING THE RISK-TAKER, SHE IS ALWAYS PLAYING AND CLIMBING NEAR THE TIRES, AND SHE SLIPPED AND LANDED ON HER ARM 🙁 SHE HAS HER CAST FOR A COUPLE OF WEEKS, BUT WAS BACK AT SCHOOL THE NEXT DAY!

Bragging on my students!!! WOW, I completed my end of year assessments last week (asking letters/sounds, how to read a book (by pointing and tracking the words), retelling a story, counting and other math concepts and WOW, WOW, WOW… Tears came to Mrs. Beam’s eyes each time I recorded their progress! We have come a long way and are getting more and more ready for KG2!!!

We completed all of our performances and Mrs. Beam is trying to compile a class video. Sorry, it’s taking so long, but my son and niece were here for 2 weeks, and Mrs. Beam was super busy each day after school 🙂

We are continuing our Fairy Tales this week and will also be singing and dancing to a few songs!

Thinking ahead to the summer… I want to encourage ALL parents to keep your kiddos involved and engaged in learning opportunities. A summer camp or reading programs are GREAT! Reading to them when you travel, let them make a fun book on their own, read and write 3 letter words/rhyming words (using consonant-vowel-consonant) and let them draw and label things. Research shows there will be a Summer Slide, for ALL kids while they are out of school. This is when they degress or forget what they learned during the school year. Then when the next school year starts back, it takes about 2 months to catch back up. So, easy fix… don’t let them get behind… keep them interested in what they worked so hard to learn this year. I promise, you and your child will be so happy when KG2 begins next year 🙂

Have a wonderful week!!!

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May 22, 2017…

Sorry for delayed post… my son and niece have been here visiting and we have been super busy! So, here’s what’s going on the remainder of this week.

We will have KG1 Fun Day TOMORROW, Tuesday, May 23.

Here’s what your child will need…

  1. Put sunscreen on them at home before they dress.
  2. Wear Swimsuit to school under Lime Green Class Shirt and school shorts.
  3. Bring a towel, sunhat or glasses (if they want).
  4. Make sure they wear or bring swim shoes (we are not swimming, but have 2 water games outside).
  5. Send only one healthy snack (as we will have pizza for 2nd snack).
  6. Make sure they have a FULL water bottle (we will refill).
  7. If you want to send a cookie or small treat for each child (18) you may do so.

We are looking forward to a fun day together, but it will be hot!

Also, our level of excitement and hyperactivity has increased drastically the past week or so. I am seeing negative behaviors from many of my students and I need your HELP. Please explain to your child that although Ramadan is coming and we are celebrating some fun things and KG1 is nearing the end, WE STILL HAVE 22 DAYS LEFT OF SCHOOL!!! We are still preparing for KG2, we are still practicing all the wonderful things we have learned this school year, and we are still being rewarded for our positive behavior. Also, negative words to friends are becoming a concern… telling others they can’t play together, or they’re not their friend, or to go away, not only hurts feelings, it causes conflict within the classroom. So please, have these conversations at home with your child, as we are having them daily in the classroom. 🙂

Ramadan schedule begins next week, May 28. KG1 students may arrive no earlier than 8:10, as there will not be supervision on the playground until that time. Our school day will run 8:30-11:30 each day, with parent pickup at 11:30 and buses leaving at 11:30 each day.

Our last Library Checkout will be next Monday!

If you and your family are planning to travel and leave Dubai, earlier than June 20 (Student’s last day), then PLEASE notify me, so I can plan accordingly with gathering their items (portfolio, change of clothes, school work, etc) and sending home to you.

In the next weeks, I will be making suggestions of things to do with your child over the long summer holiday, that will prepare them and keep them ready for KG2! Again, thank you for your continued support in your child’s education.

 

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May 13, 2017…

Great Job! Well Done! Amazing!!! … We are doing so well with our performances! The audience (class) has been so respectful and principled, while others are performing and we are all being great risk-takers!!! I have enjoyed the songs and stories so far!

Mrs. Beam is videoing a snipet of each performance and will send to each of you in an email link. The school email does not allow me to send large files, so I have to format differently and send. So, it may take me a little while, but I am so proud of each one so far!

Below is the Performance calendar one more time for the 11 students remaining. * Yoshiya will now be this Thursday, due to an absence. I am looking forward to seeing what you guys have practiced!

How We Express Ourselves calendar-1fvutwr

Drawings by Me! Are due this MONDAY, if you choose to order items with your child’s family artwork!

We will have our KG1 Fun Day on Tuesday, May 23. This is basically a day of center/rotations both inside and outside. We will not swim that day, but please SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL AS YOU WOULD ON SWIM DAY, because we will be getting wet outside! No need to send goggles or swim cap, but PLEASE SEND LARGE TOWEL!

We will check out LIBRARY BOOKS 3 MORE TIMES FOR THIS YEAR. Thank you for helping your child remember to return each Sunday, so they are prepared for Monday morning visits to see Ms. Leslie.

       Thank you to Lea and Sophia’s mom for volunteering to help the Emirati community celebrate Hag Al Laila, with treats for all of the Elementary School students!

We read The Three Billy Goats Gruff this week and will begin Little Red Writing Hood soon! We are getting quite good at retelling our fairy tales and acting out the parts with magnetic pictures, stick puppets and hand puppets… We tried to construct a strong bridge for the goats to cross over this week, and not get gobbled up by that mean troll! They are too cute!

We are continuing to work on learning as many letters and sounds as we can between now and June 20. It seems that in the past few weeks, many are taking off so fast and starting to “get it”! Mrs. Beam does not give up easily and I’m so happy that your child doesn’t either 🙂

Snacks– Please remember we have 2 snacks daily (until Ramadan begins- then we will have only one). Several students are hitting a growth spurt I guess, and are eating all or almost all of their snack during 1st snack, then starving for 2nd snack! Please have a conversation with your child and your nanny. Also, no sugary snacks, no peanuts and no chocolate items at school please. Healthy fruits, vegetables, sandwiches, boiled egg, chicken, etc.

Swimming has been going GREAT! So proud of how they are changing clothes afterwards, by themself! And being brave risk takers in the pool! We will keep swimming for a few more weeks.

We have now celebrated all student birthdays!!! Wow! We will celebrate Mrs. Beam (July) and Ms. Gen (September but we were so busy) on Monday, May 22. We will bring a special treat to the class to help us celebrate!

A special thank you to a couple of moms (and Ms. Gen, Mr. Beam and my son), who surprised me with a very special Mother’s Day video and yummy cupcakes last Thursday… you made me cry and I appreciated your thoughtfulness, more than you know!!!

Below is information for an End of Year Memory Book that a group of UAS moms is currently working on. This is the basic information that I have and it is explained here. If you have further questions, please forward them to Mrs. Amanda DeCardy adecardy@uasdubai.ae or contact the Elementary School office.

Optional Memory Book Promotion

Students in grades KG1 – Grade 5 will have the opportunity to create a memory book to mark their current time in the journey of life. If you are interested in the Memory Book, please view the slideshow shown below. You will need to sign up online before May 22 and send the required fee to cover the supplies to the elementary office by the same date. Thank you to our volunteer moms for bringing this project forward.

Online Registration Form

Slideshow

KG2/G1/G2 Flyer

G3/G4 Flyer

G5 Flyer

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May 3, 2017…

I left off a couple of things yesterday…

  • I will send home an informational letter Thursday regarding the student performances!
  • At UAS, the Hag El Leila will occur on Thursday May 11th at 8:15 am in the ES hallways, as a few students walk in a parade singing the traditional song for the celebration and volunteers fill small bags with candy in the each of the classrooms. We are looking for volunteer parents to participate in this celebration. Volunteers will be assigned to individual classes from PK to Grade 5  that morning to help out with distributing the candy to the students in their classroom so everyone can experience the Emirati festive culture first hand. All community members are invited to volunteer!
  • Please email your child’s classroom home teacher if you are willing to be one of our Hag El Leila volunteers. It is approximately a two hour commitment at 8:00am Thursday May 11th. This can be a learning opportunity for you AND for the children in UAS elementary! Thank you for your support!
  • Please take a few minutes to read both the Director and Elementary School blogs from this week. Much information regarding Ramadan, 2017-2018 School Calendar, etc., is shared with you there.
  • KG1 playground drop off during Ramadan… You may not drop your child off at school until 8:10, when the Ramadan calendar begins. If you come before that time, you will be responsible for supervising your child, as teachers will not be on duty until 8:10. And again, our KG1 school day will be 8:30-11:30. KG1 buses will leave at 11:30. Students KG2 and up, the school day will be 8:30-1:30, with buses leaving at 1:40. Thank you!
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May 2, 2017…

     I cannot believe it is May already… where has this year gone?

We are super busy and as you saw at last week’s Student Led Conferences, we are learning amazing things in KG1! Some of us are counting to 100 or higher, some are adding and subtracting, some of us are sounding out and reading, some of us are constructing amazing structures, some of us are practicing becoming artists, and the list goes on!!!

Ms. Gen and I are super proud of the progress so far, and we still have 3 full weeks and 3 and 1/2 sort of full weeks (when Ramadan begins). Exact date to be confirmed, but the hours for KG1 will be 8:30-11:30.

Here are some things to be thinking about and looking ahead to…

  • Author Julia Johnson visits KG1 tomorrow and we sent home a bright blue paper if you are interested in purchasing a book or two, please send correct amount and title name in a sealed envelope tomorrow morning!!! She is only here tomorrow, Wednesday, May 3! www.juliajohnson.ae
  • Please return your child’s portfolio by this Thursday!
  • Please return Scholastic Book Orders by this Thursday… our last one of the year… Great for summer reading, as you want to be sure your child is continuing to practice letters, sounds and reading!!!
  • We will celebrate our last 2 birthdays in the next 2 weeks. Celia’s celebration this Thursday and Hashim’s the next Thursday. They both turn 5 this Saturday, May 6.
  • How We Express Ourselves Performances begin NEXT WEEK, MAY 7! A calendar was shared with you a couple of weeks ago, and I am posting it here again as well. Your child must be practicing at home with you every night. Should only take a couple of minutes. We have and will continue to practice in small groups this week… they are doing great!
  • How We Express Ourselves Performance information sheet… I will send this home tomorrow and please return no later than Sunday, May 7. This allows me to understand a little about what they are doing and be able to introduce them to the class.
  • Drawings by Me! We are drawing beautiful family pictures this week in class and next Sunday, May 7, we will send home the drawing in an envelope. You may order a variety of items with your’s child’s illustration printed on it (ie mugs, calendars, note cards, etc). The order forms and money will be due back to me on May 14.
  • We will continue swimming on Tuesdays until otherwise noted. Not sure when we will end due to heat and Ramadan schedule, but we are planning to continue for a while.
  • Swimming Clothes– PLEASE have your child wear their swimsuit to school, but also put their school uniform shirt and shorts over the top. The procedures were explained when you gave permission earlier in the year. The purpose of a uniform is consistency, so please don’t forget to put it over the swim suit.
  • Our KG1 Fun Day for students only, will be on May 23. We will possibly be asking for you to send in an item or two, but more details will come soon!

On another note… We try hard everyday to prepare these little ones for next year in KG2. As many of you know, the expectation is much higher in regards to academics and the level of independence that they present. PLEASE DO NOT UNPACK YOUR CHILD’S BACKPACK IN THE MORNING. BEGINNING IN KG2, PARENTS ARE NOT ALLOWED INSIDE THE BUILDING IN THE MORNING, AND STUDENTS WILL STAY ON PLAYGROUND (WITH BACK PACKS LINED UP) AND THEN THEY ENTER THE BUILDING TOGETHER WITH THEIR TEACHER. SO HONESTLY, YOU ARE DOING THEM AN INJUSTICE IF YOU ARE STILL DOING IT FOR THEM. TRUST ME… THEY CAN DO IT AND THEY WANT TO DO IT… THEY WANT TO SHOW YOU HOW BIG AND STRONG AND INDEPENDENT THEY ARE, SO PLEASE LET THEM… THANK YOU!

Thanks for all you do to show your appreciation for Ms. Gen and I. In this month of Teacher Appreciation, we already know we are loved by all of you and you have amazed us throughout the year. Thanks for sharing your child with us and for encouraging your child to be their BEST!!!

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