Zen and the Art of Formative Assessment

Assessment is more than just about grades—it's about our children's future. The right approach can drive them to excel, and it begins with mindfulness. Mindful Assessment will show you just how to assess learners in a way that inspires and empowers them to succeed.  


Making a shift to mindful assessment means using a primarily student-centered approach that puts focus on constantly adjusting our teaching and feedback, to ensure students are improving constantly. As teachers, we guide that learning by responding proactively to student performance, being present for and aware of what’s happening with them, and using the best assessment practices possible.

In Mindful Assessment, authors Lee Watanabe-Crockett and Andrew Churches present a framework for completely transforming not only why but how we assess our modern classroom learners. The book urges us to rethink the relationship between teaching and learning, and assess the crucial skills students need to succeed beyond school. 

The authors persuasively demonstrate how educators can use the contents of the book to support what they already know, and focus assessment on mindfulness and feedback for improvement, centering on six "future fluencies" today's students need to cultivate for achieving professional and personal growth. 

This practical and highly approachable book also provides useful educational tools like scenarios, lessons, activities, and assessment rubrics.

What is Mindful Assessment?


“The authors have provided a much-needed guidebook for assessing some of the most important fluencies that lead to deeper learning.”

James A. Bellanca, President, Illinois Consortium for 21st Century Schools

Mindful Assessment is unlike any book you've ever read before on assessment in schools. It will expand on your current knowledge by constructively challenging your thinking about what it means to assess learning, and inspire you to refine a highly student-centered approach to assessment, supporting you with every resource you need for helping you do it right.

With this book at your side, you will: 

  • Discover six essential "fluencies" students need for success and personal growth in and beyond school.

  • Examine different kinds of assessments and understand their focuses, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

  • Use specialized assessment rubrics for evaluating students' work with these fluency skills.

  • Access challenging sample lessons and projects that support mindful assessment practices.

  • Employ the resources and tools included to help students develop their abilities and natural talents, providing solid connections to your curriculum.

How can Mindful Assessment help you?


"The project ideas throughout the book make the cost worth it alone, but add to that the comprehensive rubrics the authors include and the ways to create critical thinkers—they show step by step how to create lifelong learners.”

Todd Stanley, Gifted Services Coordinator, Pickerington Local Schools

"Our thinking about what it means to teach must be framed as a response to learning, with assessment as the method through which the learner understands how to improve. We should not see learning as the outcome of teaching, but rather allow teaching to become a mindful response to learning."

—from Mindful Assessment

Mindful Assessment

The 6 Essential Fluencies of Innovative Learning