What is STELLAR?
Experience STELLAR at Watson!

Mrs. Patricia Montemarano

The 2019-2020 school year is off to a great start in Watson’s STELLAR program. Read below to discover some of the highlights!

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Grade-by-Grade Happenings

K 1st 2nd
 3rd 4th 5th


Kindergarten children are immersed in a study of kindness. They have listened to several picture books and have participated in discussions about what it means to be kind. Watch the videos below to see Kindergarten Kindness in action!



Brrrrr! During STELLAR, kindergarten children researched the animals that inhabit polar regions. They learned how these animals use adaptions to survive in harsh climates. They listened to several non-fiction books, labeled the body parts of a penguin and wrote and illustrated polar animal facts.

Students display their arctic research.

Students display their arctic research.

First Grade

First grade students spent the month of January in STELLAR immersed in a Jan Brett Author Study. This prolific author has written and illustrated over forty picture books for children. The students completed many activities related to the geography and animals indigenous to the worldwide book settings. Perhaps their favorite activity was the Great Igloo Challenge based on the picture book, The Three Snow Bears.  This STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lesson challenged students to work in partnerships to create an igloo out of everyday materials. Extension activities were sent home encouraging the students to continue to employ STEM concepts outside of the classroom.

     The author study culminated with the students digitally voting for their favorite Jan Brett book. Once the ballots were tallied, the children created a human bar graph depicting the results. Next, they got to work using Microsoft Excel to create, format and print the data. The month flew by as the children learned new skills while enjoying beautiful picture books. The students are encouraged to check Jan Brett books out of the Watson School Library.

Students design igloos.

Working together.

Solving problem and meeting criteria.

A finished project!

Final projects proudly displayed.

Mrs. Tommolino's Class

Mrs. Anspach's Class

Formatting Excel graphs.

A sample graph.

2nd Grade

During STELLAR, the children researched the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. They watched a video and read several non-fiction books.  In art class, they created portraits of Dr. King which were uploaded as picture files. The students inserted these files into a Power Point slide. Then they keyboarded the text and formatted the slide. Finally, their voices were recorded proclaiming their dreams for the future. We hope you enjoy reading and listening to their work.

STELLAR - MLK Slideshow (Simon)

STELLAR - MLK Slideshow (Starman)


Third grade banner

Third grade STELLAR students participated in an Internet Safety unit from Common Sense Media based on the essential question, “How do good digital citizens take responsibility for themselves, their school, and their local community?” Students designed Rings of Responsibility in which they created pledges to be mindful digital citizens to themselves, to their fellow students at Watson as well as to members of the Rockville Centre Community.

          The next project introduced the four countries the students will be studying in early 2020, Mexico, Japan, Kenya and France. They created digital passports using Microsoft Publisher and will have them stamped as they complete units of study for each country. Presently, they are researching the culture and traditions of Mexico and will be creating Mexican travel brochures on the laptops. Check back for samples of their work.

 Creating Ring of Responsibility

Hard at work!

Rings of Responsibility adorn the library.Mrs. Lyons' Class

Ms. DiMare's Class

Sample passports created by students.

4th Grade

Navigators Henry Hudson, Samuel de Champlain and Giovanni da Verrazzano have captured the interests of fourth graders as the students investigate the journeys of these noted explorers. The students watched a Discovery Education video which introduced them to the Age of Exploration. They have used the resources of the STELLAR Center to research the routes and discoveries of these individuals. The students are creating iMovies to present their findings. Check back soon to watch!


5th Grade

Under the direction of Mrs. Rice, Mrs. Grubb and Mrs. Montemarano, Watson fifth graders delved into the amazing accomplishments of young activists. After being introduced to Malala Yousafzai and Greta Thunberg via Newsela articles and non-fiction texts, the students investigated the work of children their age who have made a difference in the world with the courage and determination to address injustices. Students worked in small groups to research and present the work of Mari Copeny, Jaylen Arnold, Lily Rosengard, Alexandra Scott, Ryan Hickman and Marley Dias. From drawing national attention to the water crisis in Flint, Michigan to establishing an anti-bullying foundation to creating pouches for marsupial young who lost their mothers in the Australian wildfires, these young activists have inspired Watson’s youth to think about the world around them with a new lens.

The students presented their work to classmates by creating iMovies, designing Keynote presentations, sewing pouches to bring attention to the plight of marsupials caught in wildfires, and even building a lemonade stand to highlight the work of Alexandra Scott, a childhood cancer victim who started the Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation to raise money for cancer research.

Activist Arnold Grubb HR
Activist Arnold Rice HR

Activist Copeny Grubb HR

Activist Copeny Rice HR

Activist Dias Grubb HR

Activist Dias Rice HR

Activist Hickman Grubb HR
Activist Hickman Rice Homeroom

Activist Rosengard Grubb HR

Activist Scott Grubb

Activist Scott Rice

Fifth grade STELLAR students put their coding skills to the test as they learned to program Scribbler robots. The students were challenged to program the Scribbler to “draw” a rectangle on a large sheet of paper. Computational skills, coding and trial and error were some of the skills employed as students perfected right angles and calculated the distance traveled per second by the robots. This hands-on learning experience was a great way to capitalize on the coding skills practiced back in December.

Programming the Scribbler

Programming class!


Learning together.

This group conquered the rectangle!

The 2019 Road to Code

     Watson students have taken a trip on the Road to Code. Every December, students around the globe participate in the Hour of Code. The goal of this initiative is to expose children to computer science and computer programming at an early age. Watson students started with a twist this year… they began coding with “unplugged activities” which allowed them to make logical and kinesthetic connections to the algorithms of coding. Kindergarten and first grade students used the Code Hopper game to practice sequencing, decision making and following commands.  Second graders employed hand signals to create algorithms that guided their fellow students to uncover hidden emojis.  Graph paper coding was utilized by students in grades three through five.  Students broke into partnerships to code and decode programs using symbols.

     Next exit on the Road to Code…students will transfer and apply this knowledge to apps on iPads and laptops.

Students Playing Games

Students Code Kinesthetically

Movement aids in understanding of coding

Students working at their tables

Student working independently

Kindergarten banner

     Kindergarten students recently went on a field trip to White Post Farm in Melville. To complement this excursion, they listened to non-fiction books about farms and farm animals. The students utilized the ChatterPix app on the iPads to created a video of the facts they learned. 


First grade banner

First graders are excited about fall! They read several non-fiction books about this season and came up with facts that coincide with each letter of the alphabet. Students formatted a Power Point slide by keyboarding and designing the layout of their fact and accompanying illustration. Click below to read their Fall ABC Books!

ABC Book

ABC Book

2nd Grade Banner

Creepy Carrots! Oh My! Second grade students participated in an eerie STEM activity. They enjoyed the read-aloud Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds.   The students collaborated in teams to build a fence made from popsicle sticks and clothespins that would keep the creepy carrots in the carrot patch. The process involved planning, designing, building. testing and redesigning. The results were ingenious!

Students working in library

Third grade banner
In order to extend their classroom genre study of mysteries, third graders investigated the science of fingerprints. These budding sleuths learned how fingerprints are used to identify individuals and how they can be utilized to solve crimes.  Students made their own fingerprints and examined them through magnifying glasses to identify the prints as whorls, loops or arches.  Next up, learning to use Excel to graph these results!

Focused students in STELLAR Center
Fourth grade banner

Fourth graders have been using the Seesaw app on their iPads to share what they have learned about various topics including library organization and the ins and outs of “digital netiquette”. They are about to delve into an animal research project in which they will be employing the resources of the STELLAR Center to research, write, edit and publish a newspaper article about their animals. Stay tuned for samples of their work.

Activities going on in library

Fifth Grade Banner
Fifth graders are becoming familiar with Google Classroom on their iPads. They will be using this collaborative tool as they research famous explorers using the resources of the STELLAR Center. They have set up Noodle Tool accounts and have learned to cite sources using the MLA (Modern Language Association) format. 

Students working with headphones

Soaring to New Heights Banner

In conjunction with the school’s yearlong theme, Soaring to New Heights, two school wide enrichment events were held to promote student wellness, self-esteem and inner happiness. 

On September 26, 2019 our students were surprised by the appearance of a hot air balloon on the Watson field. Students observed the balloon being inflated by a professional pilot, which was a magnificent and inspiring site. The hot air balloon served to reminds students that boundaries are limitless and their potentials are sky high.  After students witness the inflation, the entire student body sang a song written by a group of Watson students entitled “Soaring to New Heights”. This original song reinforced the path leading to self-confidence, making the right choices and feeling good about oneself. Once the balloon was deflated, students in grade three through five gathered in the gym for a presentation by the balloon’s pilot. This informative session included information on the operational characteristics, history, and safety considerations of flying hot air balloons.

On the evening of October 17, 2019 Watson School opened its doors to students and their families for Soaring to New Heights, An Evening of Mindfulness and Enrichment. Many rooms dimmed their lights, played soft music and set a tone in which children could easily unwind, relax and communicate with their peers. They were introduced to mandalas, musical mirror movements, the Totika communication game and even spent time relaxing in the “Zen Den”.  Mindfulness stations allowed students to focus on music and art in a relaxed, gentle manner. Some young writers composed and illustrated books of motivational quotes. Yoga and Zumba workshops were big draws for students to learn poses and meditative breathing.