We got the opportunity to review Samson’s Classroom! This is an online reading program for Kindergarten to 5th grade. There are 3 main sections on their website. Sight Words with Samson, Spelling with Samson and Reading with Samson. David is in first grade this year and we are diligently working on teaching him to read. I was very excited to have him try Samson’s classroom!
David started with Site Words with Samson. This section teaches the 224 most commonly used English words.
There are 28 lists of words in 4 levels.
- Step 1 introduces you to 8 words. The computer shows the word, spells it, then uses it in a sentence.
- Step 2 uses the same words and has you “build” them. They say and spell a word and you build it by picking from the 8 letter blocks that they put up for you.
- Step 3 is identifying the same words. The picture above shows this step. They say a word and use it in a sentence. You pick it from your list of 8 words. Samson takes each word as you identify it correctly.
- Step 4 you spell the words. They give you blank tiles and the alphabet under it. They say the word and use it in a sentence. As you pick the letter to spell it out, they fill the blank tiles. You have to pick them in the right order to spell the word.
- Step 5 is filling in the missing words. The read a sentence and you click the word that fills in the blank. Each correct answer earns you a jewel from the treasure boxes. When Samson gives 8 jewels, you have completed the level.
This completes list 1. It automatically starts list 2, step 1. The main menu shows green check marks for completed levels and red x’s where you need more practice. The boxes can be clicked there to go to any list/level. At the end of each level, you can print a certificate. The website shows a scoreboard to see your students progress at a glance.
We moved on to Spelling with Samson. This section currently teaches 5000 words! We had fun with the spelling portion because we could enter David’s weekly co-op spelling words and play games with those. This helped him learn them each week! It was very easy to create your own spelling list by following the directions on the main page using the My Spelling Words option. The format is the same whether you use the given words or your own lists.
- The first area is the study zone Click on a word from the list and you get a window showing the word and a sentence with a blank where your word goes. Choose from the buttons at the bottom to hear the word, hear the sentence and hear the spelling.
- After you are done with all the words in this list you move on to filling in the missing letters. Samson karate chops the group of letters you choose to fill in the blank to finish spelling the word. The word is said, then you hear it in a sentence.
- The next step with these words is the spelling scramble (picture above). You guide Samson around with the arrow keys to have him collect letters that will be used to make the words in your lists. You have to be quick to avoid being wrapped up by the tarantula.
- The last game here is called crunch time. Samson is on a chunk of ice, he can jump to the next one if you spell the word you hear correctly. This one uses the keyboard. When you spell all of them, Samson makes it safely to an igloo.
You receive a green circle for perfect scores and a red circle for “not quite” on the main spelling screen.
Here is a screen shot of Reading with Samson. This was above David’s level, but I played on it a little. There are 4 levels. You read a passage with lots of detail and answer 8 questions about what you read. This earns you points to play “hammer time”. Each point earns you one hammer swing. Depending on when you swing the hammer you can earn points for a high score competing against other players.
The resource center has lots of very useful tools.
- Articles: about teaching reading
- Awards: awards and certificates to print as your student completes each level
- Images and links: link to add Samson to your website
- Lesson plans: helpful lessons to help you teach a child to read
- Letters: where a teacher can create a letter to send home about Samson (useful for a co-op)
- Worksheets: lots of pdf worksheets to help reinforce what your student has done online
Here is the pricing info:
- Home plan (1 user) $30 year
- Family plan (4 users) $50 year
- larger plans are available for classrooms and schools
I think this is a great price for this program. There is so much to learn in here. The many games, levels and certificates keep the student motivated to move forward.
I really liked Samson’s classroom. I think it has a lot to offer, it’s organized well and the price is great. This was not a game that David liked to play on his own. He did like to help me play it and did work on his spelling words in the spelling section. He definitely could benefit from this for many years! There are so many levels and words!
Others on the TOS Review Crew are reviewing this too. See what they had to say about it HERE.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this product through the Schoolhouse Review Crew in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to write a positive review nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions I have expressed are my own or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC Regulations.