End of 1st Semester Reflection

Final Semester Reflection

Short answers (200 words maximum each):

  1. When looking at my Unit 1 and Unit 2 portfolio, I see my greatest achievement has been. . . 

I see that my greatest achievement has been mastering the target C1 which is, “I can read and understand (and choose) complex imaginative literature (fiction, drama, and poetry) appropriate for college-level study, also C7, “I can write to understand, using informal/exploratory activities, and I have improved on the C2 target, “I can interpret a work (ie. fiction or poetry) based on a careful observation of textual details, considering such elements as the use of figurative language, imagery, symbolism, and tone. In class, we are given many oppurtunities to show growth in these skills and also mastery. I am also surprised how I improved on the C2 target, as before taking AP Lit, when given a text to read, I only knew a limited amount of literary devices for poetry and short stories and I mainly focused on how the author would develop the theme, not really understanding how literary devices or motifs, themes, symbols, setting, tone, etc can support, influence, and be just as important as the theme of the story. Another great achievement in this class is being able to express my thoughts clearly (although not always organized), I still feel that every single summative/formative or in-class discussion that we have we are always encouraged to share our takeaways or observations we find in different texts. I now feel a bit more confident when approaching a passage, and also have a clear set of tools to use with me when given a text to analyze. I hope to be able to now use what I have learned (such as DIDLS, Soapstone) to apply it to longer texts like my novel, “The Help.” 


2. When looking at my feedback on my work (as found in Schoology), I see I still struggle with and/or I am improving upon. . .

When looking at my feedback on my work, at the start of the year (Q3 rewrite), I still struggle with maintaining a clear thesis and also include the “work as a whole” perspective too so I can zoom in and out of the piece, bringing in details from the text but also writing to understand how the author’s intent influences the piece. I want to improve on zooming in and out of the piece such as focusing on text details and then analyzing the author’s intent and the author’s point. For the Q1 rewrite, I should continue working on having “a logical flow of ideas, including the development of the ideas you indicate, will develop (in the thesis). For the SS Interp 1, I should  “Continue refining your writing craft, especially the organization of paragraphs and the art of zooming in and out for your reader.” However, for the SS Interp Rewrite (Draft #3), Mrs. Brayko said a good goal for me is to, “reach a similar depth of analytical thinking without outside resources.” Another feedback I have is also about how I use outside research, “…Be careful not to rely on it so heavily in the video, though, as the focus here is what the text has to offer.” Now that  I have feedback on my outside research, I have a good idea of how to use it to my advantage and when it is helpful to use. Again, I don’t want to rely on it too heavily, as then I won’t be able to think of ideas of my own or be able to analyze text on my own.

  1. When looking at my process piece, __________, (drafts 1 – ?) this was my approach to improving that work. . .

When looking at my process pieces for the SS Interpretation, I see that my first drafts are always very incoherent and disorganized. I notice that my first drafts are just essentially my “brain spills.” My first draft is the paper where I spill all my thoughts out, and is really just a skeleton of my ideas. They usually lack organization or a strong thesis. However, for the 2nd and 3rd drafts, I aim to create plans/outlines, so that I have a clear idea of how to go about revising refining the paper. In order to improve my drafts, the first step that I took was rereading the text that I was going to analyze as well as rereading over my paper to find any areas that didn’t make sense or needed revision. When reading analytical papers, I also had a mental checklist. For example, I made sure to have a topic sentence for each paragraph and evidence to support every time I brought up a new idea. The thesis I found was also a very important part of writing the rewrites as it holds my essay together. The thesis sets up what I will be writing in the paragraphs which helps the reader and gives them a guide of what they’re about to read. 

Here is an example of how I approached the 3rd draft for the SS Interp

For example, for my SS interpretation, I decided to solely focus on music as a motif throughout the text. As I followed the music motif in my reread, I found many new pieces of evidence that I was able to use for my Draft #3 and this aided in deeper analysis and a clearer line of reasoning in my 3rd draft. My 3rd draft was an improvement because I also made sure to use the feedback provided to make my piece stronger. This can be seen when I do the rewrites as well. After conferencing and peer feedback, I fix up my writing a lot to make sure that I have a greater sense of clarity and organization too. 



  1. When looking at my Mastery data in Schoology for this course, I notice that. . . 

I am doing well on C5, F13.2, C7, F2.1, F3.2, F8, F4, C1, C2, C3, C9, however, I need to improve on C13, C10, C4, C12, C11. This tells me that I do well on the formative targets, but I have also improved on targets such as C1 and C3 that show up on both formatives and summatives. This means that there are many oppurtunities throughout the year to show improvement and mastery in these skills. 



  1. Having reviewed the semester’s reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking, as well as my collaboration, creativity, and resilience, a goal I have for Semester 2 is. . . 

A goal that I have for semester 2 is to be able to do an analysis of short stories and poetry without the support and assistance of outside resources. I also hope to continue practicing analysis with AP Q1, Q2, Q3 practice, and to always reread a piece and discuss with my peers about any observations or insights I see in a text. Another goal I have for semester 2 is to contribute more in class, and hopefully not hold back when I have ideas or even questions. If I have any insights or if I observe anything I find interesting, I should share with the class because maybe someone might have never picked up on what I observed and it could be a new idea to add to a group discussion. Another goal I have for semester 2  is to also make it a habit to practice MC poetry questions and prose questions. This is because I think it will also help with more analysis practice and close reading of text so that I can easily and confidently identify authors’ use of literary devices, themes, symbols, tone, style. 

AND Choose 1:

  • My first impression of AP Lit. . . Now I know …

My first impression of AP lit is that it was going to be a demanding, rigorous, but also a course that you can take a lot from. Another first impression that I heard that there is a lot of reading and writing to be done but also practicing and develop rhetoric skills, speaking skills, collaboration. Now I know that it’s a class that is all of these things, and it’s also a very full-faceted course that requires students to be learning and practicing new things in class every day. Every class is different and is a class where we learn a new strategy to help us analyze or understand a text/ poem. Although some strategies may be found tedious, they help you get the most out of a poem or short story and can map out your observations of themes and literary devices that you see in the text. I also now know that there is a lot of deep reading analysis in AP lit, but in this class, after 1st semester, I do know how to approach a text now, and I feel more confident when reading a text (how to derive or form a thesis, or what literary devices the author is using). I also now understand the importance of rereading a text and have also found importance in finding a strategy like DIDLS or TPCASTT to assist me when interacting with a new text. 

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