Bookstores of Chicago: Challengers Comics + Conversation

Bookstores of Chicago: Challengers Comics + Conversation:


Readers, it is time. Time for another book store exploration, this week to Challengers Comics + Conversation, right on the edge of Bucktown at Western and Milwaukee.


Getting here is pretty easy, as the Blue line stop is a stone’s throw away, and there are like four busses that swing…

Bookstores of Chicago: Darktower Comics

Bookstores of Chicago: Darktower Comics:


Another awesome local shop for you this week, readers. I ventured back up to Lincoln Square to pay a visit to Darktower Comics.


Another of Chicago’s quietly busy comic shops, Darktower sits just north of Kempf Plaza on Western. The Brown Line gets you really close, and the 81 and 49…

What we Did in Our Advanced Integrative TOEFL Class on Tuesday, August 6th 2013

Fall Trimester 2013 Block 1


a | 09:30 – 10:19 | Students completed a quiz I made reviewing Lessons 9 – 11 of The Complete Guide to the TOEFL Test (CGT).

  • Same review quiz I gave in the first lesson of this block, except I let them use their textbooks this time.
  • After they checked answers with their partners, we reviewed everything as a class.

b | 10:28 – 10:54 | Finished going over the CGT Section 2 Listening Review Test we started yesterday, questions 19 – 34.

  • Again, after discussing each answer the students were required to classify what type of listening question it was, so they could see which were the most difficult for them.

c | 10:54 – 11:30 | Completed the first 2 parts of Academic Note Taking Practice 8 – Advantages and Disadvantages (worksheet by Gretchen Dee).

d | 11:30 – 12:00 & 13:45 – 14:15 | For our Advanced Integrative lessons this week we are going through a Literature course from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

  • Started with speaking prompts centered on literature
  • Next, students answered each other’s questions (last night’s homework) about the first 10 minutes of the first lecture
  • Afterwards we had a general discussion about the lecture to make sure everyone was on the same page.

e | 12:45 – 13:45 | Barron’s TOEFL iBT Listening Simulation 4

f | 14:15 – 15:00 | Chicago Guide for ESL Students Elective

  • Students worked with their teams on the rough draft of their presentations about common problems for ESL students and useful information for ESL students that are due tomorrow.
  • For the last 10 minutes, we screened the movie everyone worked together to make for the Mayor’s Office contest:

  • Find the video on Facebook here


  1. Finish vocabulary lesson 19
  2. Finish the rough draft of your common problem (5 slides) and useful information (5 slides) presentations
  3. Finish the next draft of your neighborhood summaries and restaurant reviews
  4. Study for Thursday’s listening skills and vocabulary quiz
  5. Study for the quizzes 2 and 3 retakes tomorrow


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  • Unless otherwise noted, white board photos and/or text Copyright © 2013 by Charlie Danoff. Rights given a CC Zero 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication.

What we Did in Our Advanced Integrative TOEFL Class on Thursday, August 1st 2013

Fall Trimester 2013 Block 1


a | 09:30 – 10:09 | Quiz 3: TOEFL Listening Skills & Vocabulary Lessons 14 – 16

b | 10:19 – 10:49 | Reviewed Barron’s Listening Simulation 3 (done on Tuesday)

  • I read the listening passage to the students as they took notes. They then compared those notes with their originals they took Tuesday and tried to answer the questions.
  • Had them check answers in pairs before we reviewed as a class. I focused more on why wrong answers were wrong, as opposed to the correct ones.

c | 10:49 – 11:55 | Reviewed the answers Financial Markets Lesson 1 (from Monday)

d | 10:49 – 11:55 & 12:45 – 14:00 | Financial Markets Lesson 3

e | 14:00 – 15:00 | Elective: Movie for Chicago Guide for ESL Students Project


  1. Study for Quiz 4, use the Quiz 3 study guide (download study guide from [86 kB / 2 pp.])
  2. Complete a Writing Simulation Independent Essay question (check e-mail)
  3. Finish Vocab Lesson 17 (check e-mail)