Kindergarten: How to Effectively Teach Basic Skills

Sarah Major

Sarah Major, M.Ed. is passionate about working in harmony with a child's immaculate design to support their learning strengths. As a Title 1 Program Director and Designer, Sarah earned awards for creating her own multisensory educational resources that have now been sold in all 50 states and over 150 countries. By design, Sarah’s materials equip educators to effectively teach basic skills through pictures, stories, and body movements. 

Your child will have so many new experiences in kindergarten! To help him/her have a successful year, let's focus on the 3 essential kindergarten academic skills:

  • Knowledge of letters and their sounds
  • Essential sight words
  • Numbers and number sense

If you are here, chances are you want to support your child in gaining these basic skills. Sarah recommends these right-brain resources that have proved to be highly effective for children in kindergarten and beyond.

The most effective way to teach basic skills so children will learn and remember is by using teaching resources that teach with: 

  • Pictures
  • Body Movement
  • Stories

Kindergarten: How to Teach Letters & Sounds

"Many believe that if children are struggling with letters and sounds in kindergarten, they will catch up when they are older. My time as a Title 1 teacher taught me that this is not the case. What children don't understand in kindergarten, they won't understand in 3rd grade unless someone intervenes.

It is critical to step in at the very first sign of trouble and avoid unnecessary struggle and failure for the child. Re-teaching the same way that didn't work the first time around is not the answer.

For the past two decades, I have seen remarkable results when teachers and parents reach for materials that include the BIG 3: Visuals, Story, and Body Motions." ~Sarah Major

Alphabet Tales 

Alphabet Tales Alphabet Tales teaches letters and their sounds as easily as reading a story to your child. Alphabet Tales includes hands-on activities which sends learning into long-term memory. Just read the stories together and enjoy the hands-on activities.

- Each letter in the alphabet is designed to match its shape - the F is a FLAG, M for Mountain, for example - which provides a visual hook for remembering.
- Rather than having an associated image (such as "A for Apple"), each letter IS the object.
- The story links each letter with its sound in a way that is impossible to forget.


Kindergarten: How to Teach Sight Words Effectively

"If your child hasn't quickly picked up the sight words the teacher introduced, don't wait. Around 60% of children struggle with memorizing words. There is a much better way - and one that will prevent your child from struggle and failure.

My own experience with SnapWords® in the classroom was remarkable. Children who were unable to learn sight words through memorization and drill were able to learn far beyond the required word list when they were taught using SnapWords®, sight words embedded in pictures and accompanied by body movement." ~Sarah Major

306 SnapWords® Pocket Chart Cards

SnapWords® sight words with pictures and movementWe recommend this kit because if a child struggles to learn words in kindergarten but responds to SnapWords®, chances are this method of learning sight words will be the way to go throughout elementary school. If you use SnapWords® for 10-15 minutes a day during kindergarten, your child will be successful now, but will also be amply prepared for 1st and 2nd grade!

This kit contains 342 high-frequency sight words, including all Dolch words and more.
- Lists A-E & Numbers, Colors, Days, Months & Seasons
- SnapWords® Mini-Lessons (how to teach each word)
- Sight Words in Sentences for practice in reading sight words in context
SnapWords® Pocket Chart Cards are 2.75" x 4.25"
Ability levels include Preschool through 3rd Grade.



Kindergarten: How to Teach Numbers & Number Sense

"Using the colorful images, and stories, and games in this resource will make all the difference for your child. Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction starts with zero knowledge of numbers and computation and goes through adding and subtracting numbers to 10.

The difference with this resource is that children learn very easily with the BIG 3: Images, Stories, and Body Motions. So the work of learning math does not work at all because this resource is designed to fit the way young children learn most easily." ~Sarah Major

Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction
Instead of memorizing number facts, your child will be hearing stories, seeing pictures, arranging numbers in patterns, doing hand motions, and the facts will just stick!

This book begins at the very beginning, with number recognition, counting, writing numbers, ordering numbers, number sense, and finally, teaches addition & subtraction to ten.