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Volume 7, Issue 6
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Educational Links


An on-line study guide like Cliff Notes. Sign Up for a Free Account!
A fun site for both teacher and students…try it out!
Librarians from a group of independent schools in Houston, TX have chosen hundreds of books covering grade levels from Pre-K through 12, and genres from non-fiction to poetry to fiction. Each entry lists title, author, publisher and publication date, as well as a one-sentence description of the book. This list is updated yearly. There are also links to library associations and Internet library resources.
An exciting, everything-you-need spelling site for elementary and middle school students, including spelling puzzles, words in the news (with links), writing prompts, and fun language facts. Also provides grade-level frequently misspelled words, spelling strategies and printable review tests.


Browse through Discovery Education’s archive of challenging Brain Boosters including categories, such as categorization, lateral thinking, logic, number and math play, reasoning, and spatial awareness.
Students can try the Dare to Compare quizzes in six subjects including math. The NCES Kids' Zone provides information to help students learn about schools; decide on a college; find a public library; engage in several games, quizzes and skill building including topics on math, probability, graphing, and mathematicians.
Includes interactive mathematic resources and activities.
Web-based virtual manipulatives or concept tutorials, mostly in the form of Java applets, for mathematics instruction (K-12 emphasis).


This is one of the most popular demonstrations at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. It has helped people satisfy their curiosity about what is inside an eye. The material presented here is meant not to replace the act of dissecting a cow's eye, but rather to enhance the experience.
This interactive site allows students to turn on different parts of the water cycle.
A nonprofit subsidiary of the National Geographic Society, JASON connects young students with great explorers and great events to inspire and motivate them to learn science. Its core curriculum units are designed for 5th – 8th grade classrooms but are flexible enough to be adapted for higher or lower grades.
The Molecularium™ Project is an entirely new way to learn. Their mission is to excite audiences of all ages and sizes to explore science in the world around them.

Social Studies

The source for all things Texan since 1857.
Wander the halls and take a trip through the exhibits of this online version of the museum.
University of Houston’s collaborative project which includes e-lectures, lesson plans, classroom handouts, an interactive timeline, historic newspapers, and many other resources.

Technology Grants

The AIAA Foundation Grant

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (The AIAA Foundation) is offering $200 grants in the area of mathematics, science and technology to K-12 teachers. You may apply at http://www.aiaa.org/content.cfm?pageid=216 . Registration is free.

HP Technology for Teaching Grant

In 2008, HP will grant awards to K–12 public schools that are using a collaborative, team-based approach to implementing technology integration projects. The activities of the project must be focused on using technology to teach, rather than on teaching students to use technology.

Click here to find out more about this grant.

Staples Foundation

The Staples Foundation is offering a grant to programs that support job skills education for all students with emphasis on disadvantaged youth. The deadline is March 14, 2008 and the award ranges from $5,000 to $25,000.

Click her to read more about this grant.

Mr. Ray Arnoldo Villarreal was born in McAllen and is a product of the McAllen Independent School District (1981 McHi graduate). His diversified work experience includes tennis coach, auto parts runner, piano mover, photographer, video production (all aspects), surf and skate shop operator, and is currently teaching 7th grade Science at Alonzo De Leon Middle School.

Mr. Villarreal graduated from UTPA after two years at STCC with a BS in Kinesiology and a minor in Biology. “I have a beautiful and supportive wife Deanna (librarian at Morris Middle School), and two beautiful children, Ray Amando and Ryan Angel, whose ages are five and two. My hobbies include fishing, hunting, camping, bird watching, surfing, and gardening”.

Click here for the complete article.

Effective Use of Instructional Technology

Instructional technology can be a powerful and highly effective teaching tool. A technology rich classroom environment stimulates different learning channels (auditory, visual, etc.) and facilitates different learning styles. Instructional technology can make it easy to display and combine text, graphics, sound, video, and animation. It is easy to update and customize text and graphics. Additionally, the instructional materials are easily made available for use by students outside the classroom around the clock.

Click here for suggestions for using technology in the classroom.

Technology Trends

Amazon Kindle

E-Paper is a display device onto which written content is displayed in electronic form. It uses liquid beads called e-ink that can carry electricity and be instructed to display text or pictures. It is expected to become a viable substitution to paper and ink applications. Practical applications include documents that only need to be kept for a short time such as newspapers, magazines, and some books.

An older technology taking advantage of the e-ink development is e-Books. A new product called Amazon Kindle takes e-Books to a new level. It uses a wireless technology called EV-DO that provides high-speed access to the Amazon repository of books, magazines, and web logs from just about anywhere that has cellular phone access.

For more information about this exciting new technology please visit: http://www.amazon.com/Amazon-com-kindle/dp/B000FI73MA.

From the Director's Desk

Backup Your Files Today!

The end of the semester provides a great opportunity to use your flash drive to backup important documents. These documents may include your lesson plans, forms, presentations, or any other files that are used throughout the school year.

To back up your files, simply plug the device into any USB port on your computer. Your computer will automatically detect it as a removable disk drive. You can then drag and drop your files to the USB flash drive. Remember to follow the procedures for removing your flash drive so that you will not cause damage to your important files.

Carmen Garcia, Director for Instructional Technology

Technology Training Sessions

The Instructional Technology Department has scheduled training sessions for the Spring semester. Limited seating is available. Enroll now on ERO.
Description Date Time Location
Intro to OSX Leopard Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. DeLeon DC
Intro to Windows Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
Skyward Grade Book & Attendance Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
Intro to OSX Leopard Monday, Feb. 11, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
iWork '08 for Mac
Pages '08 (Word Processing)
Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. DeLeon DC
Microsoft Office Word (Word Processing) Thursday, Feb. 14, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
MovieMaker (Windows) Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
iMovie (Macintosh) Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. DeLeon DC
SchoolFusion & Gaggle Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
Skyward Grade Book & Attendance Thursday, Feb. 28, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. Cathey DC
Intro to OSX Leopard Tuesday, Mar. 4, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. DeLeon DC
iWork '08 for Mac
Keynote '08 (Presentations)
Wednesday, Mar. 5, 2008 4 to 6:00 p.m. DeLeon DC
Click here for the entire schedule.

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Copyright 2006 - McAllen I.S.D.
McAllen Independent School District , 2000 North 23rd Street , McAllen, TX 78501
Phone: (956) 618-6000   |   Fax: (956) 631-7206

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