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The Ambitious Instruction: Accelerating Learning plan brings the district back to the basics of quality learning and teaching. It unites all content areas around (1) formative practices, (2) explicit instruction, and (3) meaningful student engagement. Each grade level and content area will embrace specific instructional practices around these areas.

The following equity-oriented practices provide the framework for Ambitious Instruction: Accelerating Learning.

  • Using high-quality, standards-aligned, district-adopted instructional materials
  • Focusing on culturally and linguistically responsive teaching practices that promote learning
  • Leveraging technology to empower students to create, collaborate, communicate, and think critically

In support of our Ambitious Instruction Plan for reading, each month we will feature below suggested titles for pre-kindergarten through grade 12 students. The goal is to

  • assist teachers, librarians, parents, and others in finding interesting books that will encourage and excite students to read more literature and informational text;
  • suggest titles that allow students to see themselves, explore other cultures, and discover more about the world in which they live;
  • increase the volume of books that students are reading independently to ignite a passion for reading.
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December 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for December 2023. Titles include Secret Pizza Party; The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border; Leon the Extraordinary: A Graphic Novel; Virtually Me: A New Virtual Reality School Where Students Get a Fresh Start after a Pandemic; and La ballena perdida.

A painted-over mural on a school wall of a feathers-wearing, tomahawk-wielding Indian mascot

November 2023 Selections

November is Native American Heritage Month! Learn about the selections for November 2023. Titles include Berry Song; Fall in Line, Holden!; Indigenous Ingenuity: A Celebration of Traditional North American Knowledge; A Snake Falls to Earth; Nuncaseolvida; and Mascot.

Bad Seed, a giant seed with a big smirk, with friends in ladybug and pirate Halloween costumes

October 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for October 2023. Titles include The Storyteller's Candle; Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories; Eden's Everdark; Delicious Monsters; Ndura: Hijo de la selva; and The Good, the Bad, and the Spooky.

Six smiling children standing in a circle and touching a big globe of the world

September 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for September 2023. Titles include Thanking the Moon: Celebrating the Mid-Autumn Moon Festival; The Crayons Go Back to School; Nic Blake and the Remarkables: The Manifestor Prophecy; We Are Not from Here; ¡No es justo! La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia; and We Are All Connected.

Girl looking intently at an object that comes from her grandmother's garden

August 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for August 2023. Titles include The Loud Librarian; Your Place in the Universe; Under the Royal Palms: A Childhood in Cuba; Thirst; Scrawl; La educación de Margot Sánchez; and Where Wonder Grows.

Starfish floating in the tropical water with a palm tree-lined beach in the distance

Special Edition: Summer Fun and Reading 2023

As you attend events with your children this summer, read a book about it before or after you go. Suggested book titles to pair with the events include A Concert in the Park; On the Farm, At the Market; Being a Blue Angel; Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat; and At the Beach.

Max looking up at the moon and thinking of his grandpa

July 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for July 2023. Titles include Magic: Once Upon a Faraway Land; Concrete from the Ground Up; Everything Sad Is Untrue; Burn Down, Rise Up; El despertar de los dragones (Reyes y hechiceros—libro 1); and Max and the Tag-Along Moon.

Danny looking downward while wearing a cap that says "Mexican WhiteBoy" on it

June 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for June 2023. Titles include Don't Eat Bees (Life Lessons from Chip the Dog), Wonder Walkers, The Many Meanings of Meilan, Punching Bag, Breathe and Count Back from Ten, Dímelo bajito, and Mexican WhiteBoy.

A hand holding a magnifying lens to get a better look at a mitig

May 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for May 2023. Titles include Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist; How Do Meercats Order Pizza? Wild Facts about Animals and the Scientists Who Study Them; Boys I Know; Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky: Myths of Mexico; and It's a Mitig!

Waves of the ocean with a bird flying above

April 2023 Selections

April is National Poetry Month! Learn about the selections for April 2023. Titles include Hey Black Child; Do NOT Bring Your Dragon to the Library; Alias Anna: A True Story of Outwitting the Nazis; Red Hot Salsa: Bilingual Poems on Being Young and Latino in the United States; and The Door of No Return.

The girl Moth, looking down sadly

March 2023 Selections

March is National Women's History Month! Learn about the selections for March 2023. Titles include Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909; She Persisted: Wilma Mankiller; Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World; and Me (Moth).

A young girl with rainbow colors behind her

February 2023 Selections

Learn about the selections for February 2023. Titles include Who Are Your People?; The 1619 Project: Born on the Water; Pilar Ramirez and the Curse of San Zenon; For All Time; Invisible; and Black Is a Rainbow Color.

Wisconsin Literacy StandardsMission

The mission of the Milwaukee Public Schools Department of Curriculum and Instruction is to develop students’ understanding and thinking through the integration of reading and writing, which will prepare all students to become critical consumers of information as well as to convey sophisticated and complex ideas. The district will achieve this by implementing the following practices:

  • Creating a culture for learning that engages all communities of culturally and linguistically diverse individuals
  • Using culturally and linguistically responsive dispositions that honor our students’ native languages to build bridges to standardized English
  • Building socially and emotionally safe environments that promote risk taking and a diversity of perspective
  • Designing and engaging students in rigorous and relevant lessons that are aligned to the curriculum
  • Implementing research-based instructional practices and instructional frameworks grounded in a high-quality, balanced assessment system that offers a tiered system of support for all students


The vision of the Milwaukee Public Schools literacy department is to educate all students to proficiency and beyond in order to prepare them for success in higher education, careers, and responsible citizenship. The ultimate goal of literacy education is to celebrate and utilize the language and literacy practices of our culturally and linguistically diverse learners as a tool to bridge, foster, and add academic literacy to students’ repertories.


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  What is the Ambitious Instruction Plan?

The Ambitious Instruction Plan outlines the goals, vision, essential skills, strategies, and professional development in the areas of reading, writing, and mathematics. All classrooms will ensure that student learning experiences are aligned with high-quality instruction that prepares all learners for proficiency.  

  Should all teachers be implementing the Ambitious Instruction Plan?

It is recommended that all teachers follow the best-practice frameworks that are outlined in the plan. The plan fits nicely with many different approaches, is flexible to accommodate a variety of teaching and learning styles, and ensures a high standard of care for every learner.  

  What does the Ambitious Instruction Plan mean for my child?

The Ambitious Instruction Plan ensures that all students are receiving high-quality instruction to support their academic growth in literacy. The plan guarantees that teachers plan for multi-layers of support based on individual student need.

  Where can I find out more information about the Ambitious Instruction Plan?

There is detailed information by grade level on the MPS website, including a copy of the plan. Additional resources can be accessed on the MPS website, in district offices (contact information is listed on this page), or by contacting your child's teacher. The school principal or classroom teacher is able to provide further information and resources if requested. 


Liberal Arts Manager:

Nuntiata Buck             

Location:  MPS Central Services, Room 253
Phone: 414-475-8464
Fax: 414-475-8513

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