Take a look at some of the topic sentences below.  Remember, a topic sentence has a topic and a main point, and that main point should be as specific to the paragraph as you can make it.
An effective topic sentence might say something like:
New Netherland was started by the Dutch, but eventually fell to the more powerful British.

An ineffective topic sentence might say something like:
New Netherland: A colony with history. 
Look at some of these examples below. Which ones work well?  Why?

  1. New York was first settled by the Dutch, then later taken by England.
  2. Henry Hudson set sail in his ship.
  3. New Netherland was a huge part in history.
  4. There are many interesting things that happened in the history of New York.
  5. The story of the happenings of New York.
  6. Despite going through many trials, New York still became a great colony
  7. The start and end of New Netherland.
  8. New York had lots of events take place on it's land.
 
 
Below is an example of what student research should look like at this point.  The subject of this project is Abigail Adams and the topic of this "paragraph" is early life.  Individual facts have been gathered from three different sources, with at least one being a physical book.  Those facts are recorded in loose keyword outline format, the goal of which is to speed up the gathering a facts and also to remove the facts from their original form so that it is easier to avoid plagiarism later.

A number of students will need to be doing some research at home in order to be done by the end of class next Thursday.  This post is so parents can have a clear idea of what effective research looks like in the 6th grade.
 
 
Just a reminder that all students need their library books for their research projects in class tomorrow.  If the books have not come in yet, that is okay.  Just bring what you have.  If you don't have anything yet, make sure to bring a note from your parents explaining that you don't have your books yet.  That way you can show that you are being responsible.
 
 
Parents, I want to keep you in the loop as soon as possible because I know it can be hard to fit a trip to the library into your schedules.

We had planned on reserving books online today so that you could all pick them up when they came in.  Unfortunately, only two student came with their library card information.  Because of this, I'm not going to take a class period to reserve books, but I'm going to leave it up to students to reserve books on their own.

Students should reserve books as soon as possible (preferably tonight) so that they have time to come in from around the county.  Also with the long weekend coming up the library will be closed more days that normal, so we want to get an early start.

The expectation is that every student will use a real book in addition to their internet research, and by next Wednesday, students need to either have their books or a note from their parents explaining that they were not in yet.

Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  Thanks!
 
 
Bring in new or gently used stuffed animals tomorrow and Wednesday so we can give them to kids in poverty who have never had one!
 
 
Parents, I'd like to make sure that all the 6th graders have library cards at school tomorrow.  It can be theirs or they can use a parents' account if necessary.  In fact, they don't even need the card if they come with the sign in information.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) in class we are going to be reserving library books online so that instead of spending a Saturday at the library looking for a book that isn't there, you can just run in and grab what's waiting for you.
 
 
1.  In which early colony would you feel most at home?  Please provide at least three specific reasons based on facts from the text.

2.  The House of Burgesses was the first example of representative government in the colonies.  How does representative government work?­­­­­­­­
 

Parent Survey

02/06/2013

 
Hello parents, 

If you haven't taken a second yet to respond to the parent survey, please do so.  We want to serve you well and we can do it better with your feedback.  Thank you!

Take the Parent Survey here.