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Path to Proficiency


Meeting Individual Needs with Thinking Maps

Improve educational equity for English Language Learners (ELLs) and others with language-based learning challenges. Path to Proficiency builds teacher capacity to address the needs of ELLs with practical strategies for language development and comprehension.

Girl leaning on books smiling

Case Studies & Testimonials

The kids love it because it works. They can see that they can be successful, and it gives them confidence in interacting with their grade-level peers.

Meg Lucero, Program Coordinator, ELA Dept

Cherry Creek School District

Path to Proficiency helps to make language visible to students. It allows them to integrate new concepts into their thinking so they can access and use them independently later on.

Dr. Holly Porter, Director of ELA Programs

Cherry Creek School District

Writing is where a lot of EL students struggle most. Path to Proficiency and Write from the Beginning have given us strategies that are very easy to integrate in both languages. It’s provided an opportunity to really hone writing skills and help our students make that jump.

Melanie Pagliaro, Principal

Desert Rose Elementary


About Path to Proficiency

Path to Proficiency builds on the foundation of Thinking Maps to show teachers how to differentiate the use of the Maps for English Language Learners and others with language-based learning needs. These strategies are used by all teachers to improve equity and academic outcomes for ELLs in their general education classes. Path to Proficiency shows teachers how to support the needs of ELLs within the context of the general classroom in ways that are inclusive and respectful of the needs of all students.

Through our specialized training, teachers will learn how to:

  • Explicitly teach language through content
  • Build Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency (CALP)
  • Help students with limited English proficiency access grade-level content and concepts
  • Adapt and extend the use of Thinking Maps for all English Language Development Levels

Path to Proficiency book cover


Closing Achievement Gaps

The strategies in Path to Proficiency are designed to not just close achievement gaps but accelerate language development. They provide a framework that ELLs can use to interact with and understand grade-level content while simultaneously learning the form and function of language. Teachers will learn how to:

Recognize and support the comprehension and language development needs of ELLs

Adapt and extend the use of Thinking Maps for students of all language proficiency levels

Use Thinking Maps for language and vocabulary development

Differentiate instruction for a variety of student learning needs

Planning Your Path

Path to Proficiency is a whole-school program that starts with training your teaching staff. Schools must complete the foundational Thinking Maps training and be active Thinking Maps users before progressing to Path to Proficiency.

Training Options Find Your Rep

Group Teaching

Smiling teacher in classroom


Thinking Maps Learning Community

The Thinking Maps Learning Community (TMLC) is a vital part of your Thinking Maps implementation and your online hub for Map creation, professional learning, planning and inspiration. We created TMLC to maximize student learning, improve teacher productivity and support professional learning communities.

Online Map Builder (Teachers & Students)

A web-based program that allows users to create Maps, lessons and assessments while enhancing writing skills.

Exercise & Assignment Management Tools

Monitor progress towards school and district learning goals and develop your Thinking Maps Plan of Action.

Professional Learning Courses & Resources

An expansive collection of 23 video-based Professional Development modules for anytime, anywhere learning.

Online Map Gallery (Exemplar Maps)

An ever-growing collection showcasing professionally vetted Maps across grade levels and subject areas.


Access our Thinking Maps Learning Community!

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Advanced Training Options

Your initial Thinking Maps Training is just the beginning of your journey!
We offer advanced courses to build the capacity of your staff and maximize the impact of Thinking Maps.

Leadership Training

Build a data-driven strategic plan to meet the needs of your teachers and students.

Write from the Beginning...and Beyond

Improve writing across the curriculum with brain-based strategies for all writing genres.

Path to Proficiency

Meet the needs of English Learners (ELs) and students with language-based learning challenges.