Bathroom Briefs

Educational posters to help every educator be a teacher of language.
Educational posters to help every educator be a teacher of language.
Teaching practices that help ELLs in content classes
Inspired by Todd Finley’s tweet

All educators are teachers of language, but not every educator has time to learn the strategies to teach language. That’s the purpose of Bathroom Briefs (BB). Each Monday, I physically post a new BB in the faculty bathroom.  They offer a quick, easily accessible strategy that can be used cross-content.

Download all Bathroom Brief 1-25 here.




Inspired by Carlota’s Tweet, which was inspired by the Immigrant Welcome Center.

All students are welcomed in the classroomPolish & Spanish version 

Japanese & Spanish version 

Bathroom Brief 27

ELL strategies culturally responsive brain

Bathroom Brief 26

Bathroom Brief 25

Bathroom Brief 25

Bathroom Brief 24

All the text structures from Episode #18-23. Free to download and post on your walls:


Bathroom Brief 23

Bathroom Brief 23

Bathroom Brief 22

Bathroom Brief 21

Bathroom Brief 20

Bathroom Brief 19

Bathroom Brief 18

Bathroom Brief 17

Bathroom Brief 17


Bathroom Brief 1
Bathroom Brief 1









Teaching ELLs academic language
Bathroom Briefs 2









Bathroom Brief 3
Bathroom Brief 3
Bathroom Briefs 4 visual scaffolds for academic language
Bathroom Briefs 4









Visual scaffolds for ELLs
Bathroom Briefs # 5

I’ve created classroom-ready posters for these academic command terms for you to post in your classroom.  I hope they support your ELs in all classes, not just their English.

Making command terms visuals for ELLs

Bathroom Brief # 6 to 8 will be sharing sentence stems with you.  I have found it an indispensable tool to scaffold EL’s production of ideas.  However, the legendary Jana Echevarría strongly encourages that we differentiate the sentence stems.  She recommended that they not be too basic for the more advanced students nor be too complex for the developing ELs.  If we have a group of five ELs, there might be three different sentence stems to support ELs to share their thinking.

Here’s an article she wrote on the topic called “Are Language Frames Good for Learners?”  When Jana recommends something, I listen because she is one of the creators of the sheltered immersion (SIOP) approach.

Bathroom Brief 6


bb7-sentence-stems ELLs
Bathroom Brief 7


BB8 Sentence stems for ELLs
Bathroom Brief 8

The next four BBs will profile a language learner at different language proficiency. These posters will share share strategies that teachers can use to develop comprehensible input to cultivate comprehensible output by the EL.

BB9 Beginning English Leaner
Bathroom Brief 9

Bathroom Brief #10



Bathroom Brief # 11

Bathroom Brief 11Bathroom Brief # 12

EmpoweringELLs Bathroom Brief # 12


Bathroom Brief #13

Bathroom Brief 13

Bathroom Brief # 14

Bathroom Brief 14

Bathroom Brief # 15

Bathroom Brief 15

Bathroom Brief # 16



Bathroom Briefs
Article Name
Bathroom Briefs
Quick, downloadable infographs that explain an easily accessible ELL strategy that can be used across cross areas. Examples include graphic scaffolds, the "problem-solution" text structure, command terms and inquiry stems.
Publisher Name
Empowering ELLs
Publisher Logo


    1. Hola, AP!

      Muchas gracias for altering me to this. I’ve since updated it.

      Agreed! Raising teachers’ awareness of language strategies is the purpose of BBs. I hope they support your teachers as well. Feel free to keep downloading and sharing them.

      Do you want to contribute any ideas?

  1. Is it possible to download and print all of the BB’s at once instead of individually? I just found this blog and I love the information, but I’d prefer not to do 25 one at a time.


    1. Hi, Bonnie.

      I think that’s a GREAT idea. Every 25 BBs, I’ll group them together in a single link. I’ll find out how to do this on Monday. Thank you for your kind words.

      P.S. How did you find the blog, Bonnie?

  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you! As the only EL Specialist in my building, I don’t get to work with most teachers, but this will help everyone. This is so appreciated. 🙂

    1. Hi, Summer.

      Thank you for your enthusiastic note! It has made my Monday morning! With the internet, no one has to teach alone anymore. P.S. How did you find my site?

  3. I love your bathroom briefs- I work uphill to upskill the overloaded teachers in my school but this a great method of helping them get ideas to support their ELLs.. The staff give me great comments on the ideas in your weekly briefs and ask me to add more ideas. Now I’m not pushing professional development down their throats, they are asking me for more ideas.
    Thank you very much!
    Nan in NZ..

    1. Hi, Nan! This has MADE my day! I hope the hill is becoming less steep. Your school is lucky to have you, Nan. Let’s keep pushing uphill together!

  4. These are brilliant and funny! Thank you so much for sharing! ‘On the go, as you go’…. LOL! You just made my afternoon; I can’t wait to post these around the school and share with the teachers 🙂

    1. Hi, Susana.
      I’m happy that you enjoy the BB’s. Thank you for considering placing these around the school. Some teachers have placed them around coffee areas and water dispensers. I hope it helps your teachers become teachers of language.

  5. Hi Tan,

    I just wanted to tell you that these are very well received at my school, especially by my principal. I have given you all the credit, but she loves that I thought to share this with staff. Every Friday afternoon, I change them in all the bathrooms for the following week. I will love to contribute to this, if you want to work on more.


    I found your site from Twitter as I have been following you and ELL Book Chat for awhile.

    1. Hi, Laura!

      This message made my day. Now let me pass the baton to you. Feel free to create your own BBs that are relevant to your school. My is just a muse for passionate teachers like you!

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