Mindprint Toolbox

Search Results

Please wait...

Have Students Evaluate Topics as Plus, Minus, Interesting


Social-Emotional Learning ^21st Century Skills All Ages Strategy


Self-regulation Social Awareness

Have Students Evaluate Topics as Plus, Minus, Interesting

If your student tends not to express strong opinions or feelings and you want to help them take a point of view

How To Apply It!

  1. Plus, Minus, Interesting is an easy approach to help all students build self-awareness by having them reflect on their performance.
  2. Explain it. Discuss with students why it is important to build self-awareness about your own learning. Self-awareness relies on reflection on what works for you, where you might need a new strategy, or what new interests or challenges you can incorporate next time.
  3. Practice it. After a student has completed an assignment, have her reflect on her work and write down a) a "plus", either something that was easy or that she felt she did really well, b) a "minus", something she found difficult or felt she could improve upon, c) and something "interesting" or enjoyable about the task.
  4. Discuss it. Have a conversation about the student's reflection and use it as a jumping off point to weave in your own feedback.
  5. Ongoing reflection. Have students use Plus, Minus, Interesting to reflect on their work on a regular basis, even if you are not conferencing with them. You can provide an extra sheet with those prompts to accompany assignments. Building this habit of reflection with small assignments will cultivate the student's self-awareness of her own learning and interests.

Why It Works (the Science Of Learning)!

The most effective learners are those who have a high degree of self-awareness and a willingness to learn from their mistakes. They understand what they could do better and learn how to self-correct. This is a simple approach to self-reflection that is concrete and manageable. As students grow more comfortable with self-assessment they can take on a less structured approach. This approach also enables teachers to better understand students' true interests which research shows is essential to learning across diverse cultures.