This is a quick and easy to learn routine for helping students reflect on advantages and disadvantages of a topic, decision, or experience. I use it with my students when I want them to make a considered assessment, rather than just a superficial off-the-cuff statement.
PMI stands for:
P: “plus”, good things, advantages, positives
M: “minus”, bad things, disadvantages, negatives
I: “interesting”, surprising, noteworthy, fun, strange
PMI works particularly well when my students care about a choice they have to make… a situation which has a tendency to degenerate into my ten year old students being convinced that the way to win the argument is by screaming louder than anyone else in the room. I’ve used it to assess the location of the furniture of our classroom, dramatic performances, new whiteboard markers, our school’s uniforms, our approach to spelling tests, and my approach to homework. Often students are surprised by the ideas they come up with, especially when after some focused reflection, they are able to challenge their initial reaction.