Mrs. Beam's Blog

Universal American School, Dubai KG1

April 24, 2018…

The BIG day is finally here… Student-Led Conferences! We have been practicing and preparing for you and I can’t wait for your child to SHARE with YOU, what they have been learning. This is how it will work…
1. You AND your child come to my room at your scheduled time Wednesday or Thursday (they do not need to wear their uniform).
2. PLEASE be on time, as these are 30 minutes only. If you are late, please enter the room and begin, but the ending time is the ending time, so that I may prepare for the next group.
3. Your child will be sharing with you, while 2 other students are sharing with their parents, at the same time. The reason we do this is to build self-confidence and gain support from others. For example: If Student A is shy and doesn’t know what to do, they will see Student B sharing and then follow their lead. Plus it doesn’t seem so overwhelming, when they see the others doing it as well. So, 3 families at a time.
4. You and your child will rotate to 6 different areas of the classroom (Letters/Words, Rhyming Words, Journal Writing, Numbers, Story-telling and Calendar). Your child will choose any area to begin, and can rotate in any order. Please don’t go to the same area as another student, until they are finished.
5. You will take your child’s portfolio with you as you leave. Please keep at home and return by May 2.
***At each area, there will be directions for you and some sentence starters on ways to Praise your child for being such a thinker, so brave, etc. ***
A paper came home this week in your child’s folder, titled How We Express Ourselves. It explains that your child will be planning, preparing then performing a re-telling of a story of their choice!
What I failed to do, was write your child’s name and performance day on the paper, before Ms. Gen placed them in the folders (my mistake).
So, here is the schedule of your child’s day of their individual performance. Please let me know if you have a conflict with this date or any questions. I will be sharing more info each week on the blog about this performance. For now, have your child select a book that they LOVE and start reading together each night…  If you do not have a book at home, please come visit the school library to check out a book for your child. I prefer not to loan out my personal classroom books, but will do so if you request it. 
Sunday, May 20- Karlee, Sam
Monday, May 21- Nora, Leo
Wednesday, May 23- Adam, Ayla
Thursday, May 24- Jude, Ryan, Nadine, Taha
Sunday, May 27- Kareem, Xinyi
Monday, May 28- Alia, Mohammed
Wednesday, May 30- Haya, Hao
Thursday, May 31- Miaohan, Nabeel, Abdulla
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April 19, 2018…

Another busy week on KG1. We read Goldilocks and the Three Bears many, many times and compared several versions of the story. Each child had numerous times to re-tell the story to their friends and the class. We used a variety of manipulatives to re-tell in their own words. We are building the self-confidence they will need to present or perform their own story in May.
We wrote in our journals about our favorite part of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story, as well as used our engineering ideas on how to build a chair for the bears. We matched pictures to beginning sounds and also 3 letter words… yes, some of us are reading 3 letter words all by ourself! We also demonstrated how to make and create “unique” things in the Maker Space Room. And the Airport in the Dramatic Play area allowed us to role play many different jobs!
We continued learning/reviewing numbers 0-20 by writing, counting, matching and most importantly demonstrating 1:1 correspondence (which basically means they can show me how many of something to match the number they see).  We are reviewing the numbers 15-20 mostly now.
We practiced what each child’s role is in the Student-Led Conferences for next week. As we stated before, this is not a traditional parent-teacher conference, but a time for your child to show and tell you what we are doing in KG1 and share their vast knowledge of learning with you! It is a special time and hopefully they will not be shy. They have each truly grown by leaps and bounds and I am expecting great things from them. I will have questions for you to ask them and comments (praise) for you to share as you rotate throughout the stations next week.
Hopefully by now, you have read over the information for our Student Led Conferences, which will be held next Wednesday, April 25 and Thursday, April 26. Thank you to those who have reserved your times already. If you have not, please do so by Sunday, April 22, so we can make plans accordingly. Also, there is no school those 2 days, but YOUR CHILD must come with you to the conference.
The BookWorm Book Fair begins next Monday. If you have a conference scheduled for Wednesday, you are welcome to take your child to the library to visit the Book Fair. The Book Fair will close Wednesday afternoon, so if your conference is Thursday, you may want to take your child to visit on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday before or after school.
If you don’t get a chance to shop at the Book Fair, we will be sending home one final Scholastic Book Order in the coming weeks. This is a great way to get reasonably priced books in your child’s hands, especially for your summer reading.
As mentioned last week, we have begun our final PYP unit, How We Express Ourselves. You and your child will receive a letter on Sunday, explaining the requirements for a final performance/presentation that will conclude our unit. This is an exciting unit and if you have any questions after reading the letter, please email me.
We surveyed KG1 parents about some possible workshop ideas. You will be receiving information regarding those plans very soon.
Your child is encouraged to continue using IXL each week. Even 10-15 minutes during the week, will help support and enhance their learning! AND I am still printing certificates each Monday, for those students who complete activities each week at home! 
Swimming begins on May 1 for my class. Please have your child practice changing clothes and showing you how much they improved since the fall.
Finally, a slip of paper came home in your child’s folder TODAY regarding “your plans” for their last day of KG1. With Ramadan, Eid and many families traveling, we are just trying to plan ahead. Please return that slip of paper on Sunday of next week.

Have a great weekend… Mrs. Beam

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April 17, 2018… Conference Signups!


This is a NEW PROCEDURE THIS YEAR… Please read carefully! Thanks! Mrs. Beam

Student Led Conference Signup Information

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April 15, 2018

Dear Parents…UAS will hold parent participation workshops to (1) provide an understanding of the skills needed for KG2; (2) skills and KG1 curriculum that parents can reinforce at home throughout the spring/summer; and (3) address any questions about UAS programming.

Please complete the quick survey by Thursday of this week, as the survey will close then.

Thanks for your time… Mrs. Beam

KG1 Parents Feedback for Parent Workshops Program

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April 14, 2018…

Where does the time go? I cannot believe we are already in the middle of April! And then May and June will be super quick and before we know it, this school year will be finished and we’ll all be making plans for summer!

Thank you again for all of your sweet emails and extended sympathies to me and my family. I am fine… my mom is still adjusting as you can imagine, but with time and prayers, she will be okay.

We began our final unit this week, of Fairy Tales (Mrs. Beam’s favorite). We read many versions of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, and we also made stick puppets. We will retell this story many times this week, and will also add hand puppets and the magnet board for “retelling” the story.  We will practice acting and performing it for our peers too!  Then… sometime in May, each child will perform a story of their choice!!! You see, this PYP unit is called “How We Express Ourselves”, and we are being risk-takers and communicators in order to share our knowledge with our peers. And I must say, this week was quite a good start. Most of my class has no problem standing up in front of the class and acting a part or just sharing! Their self confidence has grown by leaps and bounds since the beginning of KG1! You will receive more information soon about the expectations on what your child will share with the class. In the meantime, Mrs. Beam will be letting them practice new fairy tales each week.  After Goldilocks, we’ll move on to The Three Little Pigs!

Reading and Writing… wow, we are blooming here too! We have completed 16 letters so far and I introduced the last 10 letters this week. Most of my class knows all 26 of their letters and most of their sounds by now. So, what’s the big deal? Well, that’s how we learn to read and write… sounding out words. For example… if I know sounds for s….. a…..t, then I can now read sat. If I can sound out m…..o……p, then I can now read mop! We are reading and sounding out lots of words together during our morning carpet/calendar time/learning centers and I have had goosebumps this week with how much they have learned! What can you do? Have your child practice only 3 letter words. Consonant, Vowel, Consonant… Here is a short list for you… and rhyming words make it even more fun!

bug, rug, mug          sat, cat, rat           can, man, ran       tin, bin, win

If this is too difficult for them, don’t push too much. Go back to just practicing the sounds for each letter. They all blossom and bloom at different times… so push, but don’t demand (smile). LET THEM TELL YOU WHAT THEY HAVE LEARNED… THEY ARE PROUD!

Also, 3-4 days each week, we have designated Reading Time. Some days it is independent and sometimes it is buddy reading. It lasts for approximately 10 minutes and my students have learned to read 3 different ways… 1. I can read the pictures 2. I can read from memory 3. I can read some words (mostly it’s a combination of all 3). But for sure, they are all reading at their own level of understanding and the more you and I tell them “you are reading” the more they will actually grow in their reading!

Math and Science… We are counting to 100 together several days of the week, so let them do that for you too! Some of us can count past 100 too! Let them count for you, show you patterns, colors, shapes when you are in the mall, at a restaurant or walking in the park. And, sometimes we are able to add and subtract now… we use words like “more” or “less”. It’s amazing how they are like little sponges, soaking up everything I say. In science, we use the word engineering a lot… designing and thinking and figuring things out. Like building chairs for the 3 bears! So fun to watch their little minds at work!

I could go on and on, because THIS is what I LOVE about teaching this age… the lightbulbs switch on and learning takes place like magic! It’s truly a beautiful thing!

AND If you don’t have time to have your child show and tell you all of these amazing things, you will have time soon! Student Led Conferences are coming in a couple of weeks… April 25 and 26. This is where you come and THEY talk (not Mrs. Beam). They show you all the things they are learning. They show you different learning centers and what we do there. They tell you how we do this or how we do that! You will receive info soon with information to sign up for your child’s session.

Others reminders for you to keep on your calendar…

  • A SWIMMING note went home this week. We will be starting swimming again on Tuesday, May 1. Our swimming day will always be on Tuesdays. If your child needs practice independently getting dressed and undressed, please focus on that skill with your chid over the next few weeks at home.
  • BLUE class T-Shirts EVERY Sunday for Free Flow Free Inquiry.
  • Second Trimester Reports were posted on Synergetic this past week. If you are unsure of your login, please contact the IT help desk at school located in the foyer.
  • Snacks… Please remember that we eat 2 Snacks each day. Several students have been finishing all of their food for the 1st snack and have nothing to eat for 2nd snack. Unfortunately, I do not keep snacks in the classroom, so please make sure you or your nanny are sending plenty of food for these growing kiddos… and focus on proteins, fruits and vegetables! Thanks!

Thanks again for all you do to support your child’s learning… I hope you are seeing their progress as much as I am… Have a great week! Mrs. Beam 

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March 20, 2018…

Hello Dear Parents!

I hope this post finds you and your family well. An update to my post one week ago. I arrived at my mother’s home after midnight on Wednesday, March 14 to be with her and my 3 sisters, as we sat by my stepfather’s bedside. Timing is everything… at 5:30 am he peacefully passed away, with no more struggles of the debilitating disease of Parkinson’s. I am forever grateful that I packed my bag and flew home when I did… and I am forever grateful to the many emails you have sent to me during my absence.

I am so excited for my kiddos to celebrate Mother’s Day with you moms tomorrow morning, but so sad I cannot be there as well. I think another teacher will send me a video 🙂 But I am here with my mom, which I had not planned on, so that’s a special treat!

Enjoy each little moment with these precious ones… let them celebrate and love on you as much as they can tomorrow, and each day…. life is a blink!

Remember to drop them off on the playground by 7:55, and then go to the cafeteria to wait for them to arrive. I’m sure Ms. Gen and my wonderful KG1 team has sent you instructions as well!

Also, KG1 will dismiss on Thursday at 11:45 after celebrating Sam and Adam’s birthdays at 11:15!




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March 13, 2018…

Dear Parents,

This post is to inform you that I will be away unexpectedly for the remainder of this week and next.

My stepfather, who has been living with Parkinson’s for the past 13 years, has declined quickly in the past few weeks and is in his last days. I will fly home in the morning to be with my family.

We never really plan or wish for times like this, but unfortunately, it is part of this life we live.

I am so sorry to be away, but I know my kiddos will be in good hands with Ms Gen. Ms Amira will take over next week and she has years of experience in KG1!

I am sad to miss the birthday celebrations and Mother’s Day, next week. Quick reminder for that… please allow your child to dress in nice party clothes next Wednesday. They have a special program planned for you!


Our Mothers Day program will begin at 8:00 in the cafeteria next Wednesday, March 21. Please make sure your child arrives early to the playground and you can go over to the cafeteria to wait for them (similar to Winter program).

Also… no libray books or literature bags will come home next week, due to Spring Break!

If you are sending in money and book orders, I will place the order when I return in April!

Next Thursday is early release, with 11:45 dismissal.

Enjoy your Spring Break and I will see you on April 8!!!


Mrs. Beam

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March 11, 2018…

Dear Parents,

I have only had 4 dads send me what was “supposed” to be a surprise for moms. But I know dads are busy and sometimes it’s us mommies who need to do that little extra (smile). I would like to have a photo of mom and child emailed to me ASAP. This can be a quick picture or selfie taken on your phone. Thanks!

Also, please see a message below from the KG2 teachers, regarding a Book Drive they are promoting.

mother tongue-poster-sufrc5

Thanks for all you do! Mrs. Beam

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March 9, 2018…

We love books… and we look so cute!!!



Another super busy week in KG1!!!

We celebrated BOOK WEEK all week long!!! From Drop Everything and Read, to Mystery Readers, a Date with Dads, reading on the beach, to a variety of activities and stories from Dr. Seuss and Chicka Chicka Boom Boom! Thank you so very much to Leo’s mom and dad, Jude’s mom and dad, Nora’s mom and dad, Nadine’s mom, Alia’s mom, Sam’s dad, Karlee’s dad and Ryan’s dad, for reading to our class. I certainly realize not all moms and dads can take time away from work. As I always tell me students… when I was their age, my mom and dad always worked and sometimes they were not able to attend school activities and THAT IS OKAY! We do the best that we can and are happy for what our mommies and daddies can do for us!
Looking ahead to next week…
We sent a personal email out to the dad’s last week regarding a photo. If you have not yet sent that photo in or emailed to me, PLEASE  do so as soon as possible. I prefer an emailed copy, but will accept a hard copy in their folder.
Mother’s Day invitations came home yesterday (so pretty) and we are preparing for a special day on Wednesday, March 21 at 8:00 am in the cafeteria. Our hope is that ALL moms can attend, but if not, PLEASE email me and let me know. (I need to be able to prepare your child if you are not in attendance). We work hard on this program and they get SUPER excited to celebrate YOU!
Continue to have your child wear their BLUE class t-shirt on Sundays for Free Flow.
Continue to work on the new IXL skills that we sent home last week! We are learning so much at school and IXL enhances that learning! We are learning to read too, so reading to your child every day (if even for 5 minutes) AND having your child read to you (remember, that may be telling you about the pictures, reading from their memory, or reading some words)! IT’S ALL READING AND I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE PROGRESS THAT WE ARE MAKING IN LITERACY!!!
Scholastics Book orders are due on Thursday, March 15, for those ordering books. THERE ARE SOME GREAT TITLES IN THIS ORDER FORM… SO TAKE A PEEK!
We are celebrating March birthdays on Thursday, March 15 and Thursday, March 22. 
March 22 is our last day before Spring Break and students will dismiss at 11:45.
Spring Break is March 23- April 7. 
Students return to school on Sunday, April 8.
Have a great weekend!
Love, Snow White (Mrs. Beam) 
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March 6, 2018…

Hello parents!

A quick reminder that we will wrap up our weeklong Book Week activities on Thursday, by asking each student to dress as a Book Character! This is always a fun event and the kids look forward to it so much!

Remember… this does not or should not be a “costume” like for Halloween. It can be something that you have created at home… THINK ACCESSORIES and not full costumes!

Students are ENCOURAGED to bring the book that they are dressed as, but it is not required.

I posted some examples last week… and here they are again. Pinterest also has great quick ideas!

Stuck for costume ideas? Check out some options below:
Fancy Nancy – dress in fancy clothes with a lot of jewelry
Paper Bag Princess – brown clothing + paper bag
101 Dalmatians – white clothing + black spots stuck on
Geronimo Stilton – green pants, shirt, green jacket, mouse ears + tail, glasses
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – rabbit, Alice, Charlie, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts
Go Away Big Green Monster – make a green monster mask and dress in green
Gruffalo – make a gruffalo mask and dress in brown
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – make some beautiful butterfly wings from paper
The Grouchy Ladybug – dress in red with black spots and make a grouchy face
Pinkalicious/Aqualicious/Purplicious- dress all in pink, aqua, purple
Pete the Cat – Dress in blue with cat ears and whiskers
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – Make some mouse ears and a paper cookie

Parents are invited to come at 8:00 am to the large Elementary Playground to watch our parade. We will follow the same route as the Halloween Parade.

I have filled all of my slots for reading to our class this week, BUT, IF YOU HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO COME READ, AND HAVE A FEW MINUTES AFTER THE PARADE ON THURSDAY, I INVITE YOU TO JOIN US IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE PARADE. It may be a bit chaotic, but we can work something out!

Lastly, if your child chooses NOT to dress up on Thursday, please allow them to wear regular clothes… NO UNIFORMS ON THURSDAY PLEASE… THANKS!

Mrs. Beam

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