Create awareness of the beam and teach the term by saying, “Let’s touch the beam with our fingers” while tracing the beam with your finger. If there happens to be a beam in the room, point to it and explain that its purpose is to hold up the walls. The beam in music joins the notes together. Just use the term without any fuss. Repeat tracing the beam with your finger as needed.
Jel-lo Jel-lo Spacing
Demonstrate by saying, “We touch our hands together like this to show that these jel-los are beamed together. If they were separate . . . like this (move your hands so they aren't touching), they would be said the same but written differently. Be sure to leave the same amount of space between your two middle fingers.”
Where is the Top?
In my mind, while making the Blue Jello hand sign for "jel-lo jel-lo", the beam is actually on top, at the open ends of the two fingers. It's imagined. When touching our hands together to show they're beamed, I realize we’re beaming the bottom, but frankly, no student has ever been confused.