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Monday, October 22, 2012

Samson's Classroom TOS Review

Samson's Classroom is an online program that helps students become better readers.

Recommended for grades K-5

Home  - 1 user  $30 per year
Family -  4 users  $50 per year
Classroom -  30 users  $80 per year
Grade Level -  150 users  $250 per year
Small School -  400 users  $500 per year
Large School -  1,000 users  $1,000 per year

I received a family subscription to this online program to review.

What Is This? - 
This is an online program to help students become better readers.  Students play engaging games that focus on 3 main building blocks: sight words, spelling, and reading comprehension.  Samson is a friendly dog who helps and teaches them in this online classroom.  The student is able to work at his/her pace while playing fun interacting games!

The 3 main building blocks are:

Sight words-
This program is to help early readers master the 224 most commonly used words in the English language.  This section teaches the student sight words.  Samson (the dog) shows the word, spells the word, and uses it in a sentence.  Then the student gets a chance to type the word into the computer.  Samson will tell the student if their answer is correct.

The picture below is one of the fun lessons for the sight word portion of the program.  Samson reads the sentence and the student puts the correct word in the blank by clicking on it with their mouse.  The sentence is read to them by Samson.

Samson awards the student with virtual Karate Belts.  There are 8 different colored belts to earn.  They start at the color White and work their way up to the Black Belt.  The student can check their belt status at any time and keep track of their progress.

With more than 5,000 words and counting, Spelling with Samson is the most comprehensive spelling product on the market.  You enter the students current spelling words into the program or use the ones they provide.  The student then gets to play fun games to help learn how to spell and master these words.

In this picture below, you'll see a fun spelling game.  The student must spell the word to get to the other side of the ice before Wally the walrus eats the ice from under Samson and he falls into the icy cold water! 


Reading Comprehension-
This program helps students analyze reading material and learn how to draw conclusions and answer questions based on that material.  The student reads a short story and answers questions (multiple choice) about the story they read.  Depending how many questions the student answered correctly determines how many 'swings' at the carnival game they earn.  In this picture below you can see the game.  They earn points with their swings.

This program keeps a scoreboard with the students record of what they mastered or what they might need improvement on.  You can monitor their progress daily and have them re-do a lesson or skip over a lesson that may be too easy for them.

They also have a resource center that has printable lesson plans, awards, flash cards, bingo cards, games, worksheets, etc.  They give you the option to print your sheets in black & white or color.  The program even have progress letters to send home to the parents if necessary.  For homeschoolers, you can print these for your portfolio!

What I thought -
I have to say, I have tried other online programs in the past and my son got very burned out on them quickly and I didn't find them helping him that much.  When I got the chance to review this program, honestly, I wasn't expecting the outcome I received.  It is great!

My 9 year old son has Dyslexia.  It was a daily struggle to get him to sit and read any book for me.  With the reading portion of this program, he reads the story on the screen without giving me any protest.  He stays alert and is interested with this interactive program unlike the other reading programs we have tried in the past or with the traditional style learning with a workbook.  He loves playing the games.  I would say it was learning, disguised as fun! ;)  This program is the first thing he wants to do everyday in our homeschool!  Bottom  line, we LOVE this program!  It offers so much. We plan to continue our homeschool year using Samson's Classroom!

I highly recommend this program to anyone who has a struggling student or wants their student to become a better reader.  I give it 2 thumbs up!

Disclaimer: As a member of the TOS Crew, I received this product, at no cost to me, in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are mine.

To see other TOS Crew member reviews on this product, click below.


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