Semester End Reflection Assignment for Remote Learners

End-of-the-semester reflection writing for secondary ELA remote learners

Remote learning is tough. It is tough for everyone: teachers, students, admin, and parents. This semester has been anything but ordinary, and despite continually revising my curriculum and pairing down my assignments, it still has been a struggle. 

Knowing that this semester has been so tough, I’ve made an effort to check in on my students to understand their thoughts about remote learning. One of the biggest complaints I’ve heard from my students is that they feel the semester has been a waste, and they feel like they haven’t learned anything.

That was some harsh feedback to take in.

However, I wanted my students to reflect on the past semester and really think about what they’ve learned. I wanted them to think not only about content and knowledge that they’ve learned, but I also wanted them to think about the skills they’ve learned. Whether they realize it or not, students participating in any form of remote learning have gained so many valuable skills this semester: self-management, time-management, email skills, technology skills, and so many more.

To help my students frame the semester in a more positive light, which is a challenging task, I assigned them a first-semester reflection paragraph assignment as our final semester assignment. I kept it simple and informal. I even, gasp, told them that I didn’t care about grammar, punctuation, and spelling. I emphasized that I wanted my students to write from their heart, truly reflect on the semester, and evaluate their performance this semester.

The assignment in total was a simple 4-6 (or more) sentence reflection paragraph. I had a handful of students complete the bare minimum of four sentences, but I also had several students write books. After all, writing can be therapeutic.

To help my students get started, I provided them with several questions they could use to guide their paragraphs.

Possible reflection questions:

  • What are your thoughts about this semester?
  • What are some of the skills you learned in this class this semester?
  • How will these skills help you after high school?
  • What was your favorite part (what we did, assignment, class routine, etc.) of the semester?
  • What was your least favorite part of the semester (my class, any other class, remote learning in general)?
  • Do you believe that you tried your best this semester? If not, what struggles did you face this semester that made school challenging?
  • What was the most valuable lesson you learned this semester?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of this semester?
  • Knowing that we will start the second semester with distance learning, what are some of your goals for next semester?

Once you come back from break, you might also want to check out these five ways to engage your students in the New Year and this Sticky Note Growth Mindset New Year’s Activity.

End-of-the-semester reflection writing for secondary ELA remote learners

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