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Instructional Practice Guides

To support educators and systems in advancing educational equity in English language arts (ELA), the DPI’s Literacy and Mathematics Team collaborated with Wisconsin educators to offer the Instructional Practice Guide for Equitable Teaching and Learning in English Language Arts at K - 2, 3 - 5, 6 - 8, and 9 - 12.

Advancing educational equity requires intentionally building a system that meets the needs of all learners. This guide was created on the foundation that every learner is entitled to high quality instruction and supports, including those who have not yet met grade level standards and those who would benefit from additional challenge. The practice guides focus on practices for universal instruction, as it is the first and most impactful way to ensure mastery of educational standards for every learner.

Instructional Practice Guide for Equitable Teaching and Learning in English Language Arts

Diverse Children (Illustrated)

Each document includes an introduction, bibliography, glossary, and list of contributing educators.

Access the Instructional Practice Guide for Equitable Teaching and Learning in English Language Arts as a single document to view each grade band side-by-side to note differences.

Organization of the Practice Guide

Vision statements with supporting illustrations


The instructional practice guides are organized around Wisconsin’s Vision for English Language Arts.


The instructional practice guide identifies specific research-supported instructional strategies related to each area of the vision with one additional statement:

  • Effective ELA educators engage in responsive teaching grounded in research-aligned practices.

We believe this collection of instructional practices - when implemented along with curriculum (or scope and sequence) and with factors beyond instruction including motivational, managerial, and environmental factors - will increase every Wisconsin child’s opportunity to develop as a literate individual.

Using the Practice Guide

Consider working with colleagues around the instructional practice guide to make local decisions, including:

  • Indicating which practices are already part of your teaching, which you want to know more about, and where you see clear connections to particular standards.
  • Reviewing varied data sources about student performance, including the performance of subgroups. Select several practices related to an area of need as indicated by varied data.
  • Seeking input from students and families about the use of particular practices and refine those practices as suggested.
  • Collecting data about how a practice is being used to determine professional learning priorities.
  • Additional ideas for use are included in the introduction for each practice guide
For questions about this information, contact Barbara Novak (608) 266-5181, Bianca Williams-Griffin (608) 266-3551