Review: Samson’s Classroom

Samson’s Classroom is an online series that is many programs rolled into one, it teaches reading, sight words, and reading all in one program! Children grades k-5 play fun and engaging games and learn key concepts, all while being encouraged and rewarded from Sampson.

There are 3 parts to the program to teach your child the different concepts, each program is fun and engaging for kids. The programs are Sight Words with Samson, Spelling with Samson, and Reading with Samson, below I will explain each of the programs in more detail.

Sight words with Samson teaches children sight words, it consists of 4 different levels in each level there are 7 different word lists, and 5 different steps inside of each word list. They have simple beginner sight words at the beginning and work through to more difficult sight words.

The 5 different steps to learning each of the sight word lists, they are:

  • Step 1- Study words, kids work to study the sight words they will be working on in that word list. Students are shown the word, they say it out loud for the students, spell the word out loud, and then say the word in a sentence, when children are familiar with the word they click the next button to continue to the next word until all the new words have been studied.
  • Step 2- Missing Letters, the program says the word to students and then spells it outloud. Students need to choose the correct letters from 8 different letters by clicking on them to spell the words.

  • Step 3- Letter scramble students are given the 8 different sight words and they choose the correct sight words by clicking on the word students continue finding the sight words until all the 8 sight words have been chosen.
  • Step 4- Spell words where kids work on spelling the list sight words by choosing from the entire alphabet, they simply click on the letter to select it and it is filled into the boxes to make their sight words.

  • Step 5- Missing Words- students will be given a sentence and 4 different sight words,  they have to choose a word in the blank using one of the sight words that they have been working on with the particular word list. If students answer the question correctly they find a gem in the treasure box.
They add funny things into the program when your child answers a question correctly or incorrectly. Sampson gets rained on and other funny things when a student answers the question wrong. When they answer the question correctly Sampson shoots darts into the correct answer, jumps up and down, flies by in an airplane or skateboard and all kinds of other fun things that made the kids laugh as they got corrects answers, and also giving them the initative to keep going.

As kids work through Sight Words with Samson they can clearly see how they are doing, if they did well on one of the steps they will see a green check mark, if they need more practice on that step they will get a red x. They goal is to get all green x’s and get a star for each word list. Below is an example of what the student sees, this was Anthony’s soon after he started the program. On the lessons he has a rex x he can go back into those lessons to get a perfect score and get his star for that list.

The online resource center offers printable teachers lesson plans which consist of fun games to help enhance your child’s sight word learning. They have 6 different worksheets that are available for any level your child is working on. They also offer printable sight word flash cards for added practice and letters to send home to parents if using in a classroom setting.
 
Spelling With Samson offers parents and teachers a fun way for kids to practice their spelling. Parents/Teachers have 2 different ways to have students practice spelling words, you can add your own spelling words your students are working on or use one of the lists they already have on the program.
 
The Study Zone
Gives students their list of words, they can click on each word and have the word said out loud, spelled out loud, or have the sentence containing the word read out loud. They can click on each word as many times as they want to really give practice on the new words. They also have a spot you can click to print out a list of the spelling word being taught.
 
Missing Letters
Kids have to fill in the missing letters for the spelling words, Samson will karate chop a board and if the student answered correctly the board Samson will chop the board in half, if they incorrectly answered the board will not be chopped and the student will have to try again.
Crunch Time

Kids have to type the spelling words before the Wally The Walrus eats their ice berg and also make sure not to make a mistake or Wally The Walrus will knock students into the water. Students move from ice bergs until they have made it through all of their spelling words.

Spelling scramble

Kids run around looking for letters to spell their spelling words while trying not to get captured by Terrance the Tarantula. Once they have all the letters to spell the words, students have to unscramble their spelling words by clicking on the letters in the proper order.

 
With Reading with Samson students read a story, and are then asked questions about it.
 
The more answers they get correct the more time they accumulate to spend at the carnival trying to get a high score against other online users!
 

One of the unique and wonderful features is, when children read a passage and then answer one of the comprehension questions wrong, they are not just marked wrong, they highlight the area in the passage where the answer can be found for the student, and give students a second chance to answer correctly. The questions that are asked following the stories cover many areas in teaching reading comprehension!

How Did We Use Samson’s Classroom?
I ended up having Ethan (4), Anthony (8), and Cody (10) use the program, and will explain how the program worked for each of them individually.

Cody (10)
Cody is my kiddo that has struggled with Dyslexia, teaching him to read took many hours of very hard work on both his part as well as mine. He has become a great reader but there are still some things that could use some improvements on. Reading comprehension, Spelling and Sight Words would be one of the things he need extra help on, so I figured Samson’s Classroom would be a great program for him to try to work on those skills, and I sure was right!

Anthony (8)
Anthony is pretty much right on target of where he should be for reading, spelling, and sight words. He usually reads books that go along with the theme we are learning about in the classroom we work on questions together after the book or chapter, spelling we use All About Spelling so I used the words he was working on for the week into the program, sight words we work on flash cards daily using our Current Spelling Program. I thought that Samson’s Classroom would be a fun change from some of his normal reading, and add in some extra reading and comprehension quesitons, the spelling was wonderful because we could just add the words we were already learning about so he could play fun games with them and practice some of the words a little more then we currently do.

Ethan (4)
Ethan is my kiddo that is always wanting to learn something new, and he also has an extremely high IQ. I have been working on reading, spelling and sight words with him for the last year and he has been loving it. I planned on introducing the program to Ethan to see how he would handle it even though he was a little younger for the program then they suggest, he has been loving it. I will say that because he is younger he needs my guidance through most of the games and such, but that is just fine with how much he has been using the program!!

What Did We Think Of Samson’s Classroom?
Personally we loved this program, for the cost and the learning that this program provides to a large age group it is wonderful! I am able to have my preschooler all the way through my 5th grader work on sight words, work on any words I want them to for spelling, and even have them work on reading comprehension all using the same program, for one low price, that is amazing!! The funny personalization that are added to the program using the Samson character makes the learning fun for kids and wanting to do more!

One thing I found unique and nice about this program especially for kids who can get distracted by programs, is that it doesn’t have lots of extra games to play as a reward for work, they add the fun games right into the learning aspect so kids spend their time learning instead of playing added games that have nothing to do with what they are learning

A couple of my favorite features would be 

  • You can personalize the program to the words you are working on in your current program.
  • They offer printable fun games and worksheets, to help reinforce the words being taught.
  • The have fun characters that make learning fun.
  • The extensive and easy to understand reports for teachers all on one page.
Here is a little bit about what each of the different boys thought about the program since they are all at different age groups and have their own opinions about the program.

Cody (10)
Cody has enjoyed using the program, and was very happy to tell me when he completed a new color belt in his sight words. He is my kiddo that would rather play on the computer all day if I would let him 🙂 So this program worked great for him! Because he does have dyslexia repetition is something that he needs in order to retain the information being taught to him. Samson’s Classroom did a great job repeating the material in a way that wasn’t boring but helped him really remember the information. The Reading Comprehension is something he struggles with especially when not having it read to him or reading out loud, so the fact that Samson’s Classroom highlighted the section where the answer could be found helped him go back on his own and find the answer without just marking the answer wrong was a great thing for him!

Anthony (8)
Anthony liked using Samson’s Classroom, buts wasn’t as much into this program as he has been others, he is my kiddo that loves snuggling with mom and talking about the story together rather than doing it on the computer. It has still been a useful tool especially to practice spelling word we are already working on! I plan on continuing to use the program with Anthony probably once a week for the reading and a couple days a week to practice spelling and sight words.

Ethan (4)
As I stated before Ethan is my kiddo that seems to be learning things way above his level, so I gave Samsons Classroom a try with Ethan as well even though he is younger than the program recommends. The Sight Words With Samson was a fun thing for him, and he has been walking around spelling sight words he has been learning. He begged me to play the spelling games because he had seen the other boys do them and thought they looked fun, because I don’t do spelling with him I didn’t have words to put into the program and the recommended level of the first spelling words to practice on in the system in first grade so I was pretty skeptical as to how well he would do. He really surprised me and was doing pretty well with me helping him along the way, and was able to get almost all the answers right! The Reading With Samson part was to over his age level and I have not even tried having him use that part of the program.

What Is The Cost Of Samson’s Classroom?
Samson’s Classroom offers a few different plans depending on how many children you would need signed up, and even offer a free trial so you can see if the program would be a good fit for your child/student. The subscription is good for 1 year.

$30  Home Subscription (1 user)
$50  Family Subscription (up to 4 separate users)
$80  Classroom (up to 30 separate users)

Stop over and see what fellow crew members had to say about Samson’s Classroom.

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Disclaimer: As a member of the Shoolhouse Review Crew, I was provided with a 1 year Family Membership to Samson’s Classroom at no cost to us in return for our honest review of the program. All opinions are the honest opinions of my children or myself.

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