Biography

 Thanks for visiting my page. During my 21+ years of teaching, I have worked with students from Pre-K to college but truly love that I am working with my favorite age, middle school!  Teaching 7th grade is intriguing because these students are forming their identities, and every day is a new adventure.  I have high expectations for my students and challenge them to aim high, be organized and take ownership of their learning opportunity.  My educational experience includes earning degrees in English, Theology, Secondary Education and Psychology from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas and Northwest Missouri State University as well as Masters in Educational Leadership in Curriculum and Learning from Midland University, Fremont, Nebraska. Growing up, I had a sizable family of nine; still close, I value time with family and we have many family traditions we celebrate throughout the year. MyTop 5 Clifton Strengths include Achiever, Strategic, Positivity, Communication and Belief which equates to an energetic motivator with high expectations and organization to get high levels of tasks accomplished. I love dogs and am a connoisseur of chocolate!  I am active in my religious faith, particularly in serving teens as a youth ministry coordinator and youth conference planner and can always use more sleep! 

Ms. Prem

Hello Aviators!  Welcome to TEAM 7, LANGUAGE ARTS, where we are soaring with our skills! 

Our ability to discover the world, connect with others, better understand our experiences
and express ourselves is what we are all about in LANGUAGE ARTS! 

As a multifaceted course with state/district standards in narrative and informative reading, writing, speaking/listening and multiple literacy, we are busy advancing our skills in an atmosphere of
high energy, concentration, involvement and motivation. 

Effort recognitions include the weekly "Smile Award," and the quarterly "Air Medal," "Distinguished Flying Cross" and "Purple Heart" to celebrate significant academic gains, leadership and class citizenship. 

In Ms. Prem's language arts class, we strive to be the ultimate
WRITING WIZARDS, GRAMMAR GURUS, LITERATURE LOVERS and PRESENTATION PROS...
and if that wasn't enough, we also aim to be CONCEPT CONNOISSEURS!

WRITING:  Yes, we get hand cramps! 
As writing wizards, we wave our magic wand (really it's a pen, pencil or keyboard) and create amazing masterpieces of thoughts on paper in such samples as autobiography, product advertisement,
menu description and our random, wacky writing prompts.  
In preparation for the 8th grade state writing assessment, we hone our skills particularly around
descriptive writing during which students have thoroughly practiced the 6 writing traits:
ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions.  
Other assessments include our persuasive speech; poetry portfolio which culminates
at "Prem's Poetry 'Preciation Party;" and the Writer's Portfolio, a compilation of fully revised works. 

GRAMMAR:  This is not your kindergarten building blocks! 
We strive for master-level knowledge of the building blocks of language:  the parts of speech, sentence structures, mechanics and other components of effective writing.  We aim for each student to achieve level 4
in all 4 domains of writing, and intricate knowledge of grammar gets us there! 

LITERATURE:  Everyone has a story!  
We explore our world through literature from various time periods and cultural backgrounds
to understand how people share universal experiences.  Our yearly theme is "DISCOVERY,"
and our quarter lenses include:  1) IDENTITY; 2) CHOICES; 3) PERSPECTIVES; 4) CONVICTION.  
Students are asked to log 40 different books of various genres that they read throughout the year.  
We meet for "book club" and each quarter complete an independent novel/project
in addition to a class-assigned novel/project. 

PRESENTATION:  Taking center stage! 
Whether the thought of public speaking brings out a student's flair for the dramatic or if it is the scariest idea ever, each student makes great progress in one of the most important areas of language:  the ability to speak to others
with the purpose of information, persuasion or entertainment. 

MULTIPLE LITERACY:  Literature and technology- it's like peanut butter and jelly! 
We utilize our ability to communicate in today's world with proper research, citation and legal and safe use of the internet.   We demonstrate knowledge and skill through creating powerpoint projects, podcasts, blogs and videos.  Some of our assessments include a healthy-living public service announcement
and book trailer to promote literacy.  

CONCEPTUAL ASSESSMENT:  Adding more relevance to our learning experiences!
Challenging students to higher levels of thinking, these assessments allow students
to apply their learning experiences to issues relevant to their personal lives and those in society.
Using our literature studies as our base, students reflect on various concepts and guiding questions
to generate their universal truth/enduring understanding.

YEAR COURSE TOPIC:  DISCOVERY

FIRST QUARTER:  Conceptual Lens:  IDENTITY
Thematic Concepts:  FRIENDSHIP, POWER, TOLERANCE, CONFLICT, SACRIFICE, COMPROMISE, PERSPECTIVE 
Guiding Questions:   What factors influence identity?  How do relationships affect who we are?  What influence does identity have on the friends you choose?  What impact does facing challenges have on our identity?  Can beliefs and values change?  What may be the consequences if your views differ from the majority?  What factors shape a culture?  Does literature reflect culture or shape it?  How does a writer's identity influence his/her work?  How does a reader's prior knowledge assist in interpreting a piece of literature? 

SECOND QUARTER:  Conceptual Lens:  CHOICES 
Thematic Concepts:  RESPONSIBILITY, CULTURE, TOLERANCE, CONFLICT, SACRIFICE, PERSEVERANCE, MORALS/VALUES, PERSPECTIVE
Guiding Questions:  What are traditions and why do they exist?  How does new information or experiences affect our tradition?  How do traditions affect our choices and our identity?  What responsibilities do we have when making choices?  How are motivation and responsibility related to consequences?  How does social structure depend on individual responsibility?  How does making mistakes affect personal growth?  How much control do we have in our choices?  If we don't have a choice, are we still held responsible for our actions? 

THIRD QUARTER:  Conceptual Lens: PERSPECTIVES 
Thematic Concepts:  INEQUALITIES, CONTROVERSY, COURAGE, HUMANITY, COMMITMENT, RELATIONSHIPS
Guiding Questions:  What events can change the face of humanity?  How do viewpoints change?  Does understanding others change our point of view?  How does discomfort bring about change?   What can hinder empathy?  How do social interactions bring about internal change?  How can internal changes affect external actions?  How can we maintain a sense of self in the face of external forces?

FOURTH QUARTER:  Conceptual Lens: CONVICTION
Thematic Concepts:  CONTROL, SURVIVAL, FEAR, RISK, COURAGE, RESPECT, JUSTICE, HONOR
Guiding Questions:  What are various ways to take a stand?  What responsibilities does one have when taking a stand?  How does taking a stand shape identity and values?  What can you learn about others when developing convictions?  What are the consequences of inaction? What roles are involved when taking a stand?  
When in a leadership role, what particular responsibilities does one have?  How do culture, identity and tradition affect the choice to take a stand?  

Literary Links


When using the internet, always follow your family's expectations and school guidelines to ensure your safety. 

KEEP STRENGTHENING YOUR LITERARY SKILLS BY CONTINUALLY WRITING AND READING!
USE THESE LINKS TO HELP. 



WORK CITATION/BIBLIOGRAPHY
www.noodletools.com       [After creating an account, use to log citation information for research, keeping it legal!]

WRITING POETRY

check back soon


READING:  BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS
www.goodreads.com/list/tag/middle-school     [multiple lists of recommendations sorted by genre/themes/various nominating teams]
www.goodreads.com/list/show/284.Middle_School_Book_List     [example of a list of 151 recommended books]

www.nebraskalibraries.org/goldensower/nugget/lists/2013-2014nominees.pdf  [document of 2013-2014 list of nominees]
www.nebraskalibraries.org/goldensower/nominees.htm     [Golden Sower: last year's nominees/winners]
 

Quarter Novels



In addition to independent and book club novels read, these are the novels that we use as a class to explore themes, guiding questions and formulate universal truths.


Quarter 1:  So B. It

Quarter 2:  Crossing the Wire

Quarter 3:  The Color of My Words

Quarter 4:  Iqbal

Ms. Prem

CLIFTON STRENGTHS 

Strategic Thinker

Achiever

Communication

Positivity

Belief

Contact Info

Email Address: 

Kristine.Prem@ops.org

Phone: 

(402)561-6130 ext 8961034

   We LOVE literature!