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AIM Institute for Learning & Research

Pathways to Practice Resources

AIM understands the great need for support across the nation as we face unprecedented times. As a result, we want to assist educators and parents in providing evidence-based literacy instruction to children. This is why we are opening up components within our Pathways to Proficient Reading platform to provide high-quality professional development and resources to parents and educators as they strive to support children in a remote setting. 

The Pathways to Practice series below and our Virtual Teaching Techniques Webinars are designed to improve evidence-based practice in the classroom and for parents teaching children at home. Participants will have access to the current research through exploring videos and exemplars for each strand of Dr. Hollis Scarborough's Reading Rope. Participants will learn the “Why” behind the science as well as “What to Teach” based upon each specific concept. Lastly, and most importantly, educators will learn  “How to Teach It” in their classrooms based upon the research. This last step is the most critical step as it enables teachers and parents to apply the science through everyday classroom practices.

Framework: The Reading Rope

In 2001, Dr. Hollis Scarborough, senior literacy researcher at Haskins Laboratories, expanded upon the Simple View of Reading with a metaphor of a rope representing "The Many Strands that are Woven into Skilled Reading." This informational graphic clearly illustrates the complexities of learning to read with multiple twisting strands that depict the underlying subskills in the two essential factors of proficient reading comprehension: Language Comprehension and Word Recognition.

The lower part of the rope, Word Recognition, is comprised of subskill strands: phonological awareness, decoding and sight recognition. These subskill strands must develop and weave together to become accurate and increasingly automatic. Meanwhile, the upper strands of the rope, Language Comprehension, develop and reinforce each other: background knowledge, vocabulary, language structures, verbal reasoning, and literacy knowledge. Over time, as language comprehension grows and becomes increasingly strategic and word recognition becomes increasingly automatic, the two main strands become interwoven into a strong rope of reading comprehension. After years of practice, skilled reading is the fluent execution and coordination of all of the strands represented as a tightly intertwined rope.

Oral Language

Word Recognition

Click on a Strand Image from the Reading Rope for Videos and Downloadable Materials providing research information and practice opportunities.

Phonological Awareness



Sight Recognition

Language Comprehension

Click on a Strand Image from the Reading Rope for Videos and Downloadable Materials providing research information and practice opportunities.

Background Knowledge


Language Structures

Verbal Reasoning

Literacy Knowledge

Our Virtual Teaching Techniques Webinars from 2020 are based on the science of reading and provide educators with tools and resources (focused on G Suite teaching tools) to support literacy teaching - especially as they relate to the Upper Strands of Dr. Hollis Scarborough's Reading Rope. Access recordings and resources for this new Pathways to Practice Webinar Series below.


Language Structures

 Inference Part 1

inference part 2

Virtual Teaching Techniques Web Page Image

The majority of the videos and content in Pathways to Practice are a small sampling of the hundreds of learning objects in our AIM Pathways online teacher training platform. Learn more about our comprehensive courses in the science of reading. Join us for a webinar or demo the platform.

Discover AIM Pathways

Free access to content on Pathways to Practice pages is available for individual use only and with the exception of downloadable activity documents may not be copied or reproduced. All materials are copyrighted by Academy in Manayunk (dba as AIM Institute for Learning & Research). Please contact for information about permission to share or use.