DOE A to Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z #

New Jersey Student Learning Standards

English Language Arts



Over the course of two years, students and teachers should collect and save 2-4 examples per year of the student’s artwork and “writing”.  Over the course of the academic year, samples should be collected at the beginning, middle and end of the PRE K years, and considered for inclusion in the student’s own portfolio.  Samples are meant to be personal demonstrations of a student’s interests and developmental growth towards becoming a reader and writer.  Whole class assignments are not the goal, but rather spontaneous and guided work, facilitated by adults, but clearly the work of the developing reader and author.  Teachers should consult with students and annotate work when and where appropriate.


Kindergarten students can begin to share ideas for stories, write simple sentences and record books that have become favorites.  Artwork and writing samples should be included at the beginning, middle and end of the academic year, with consideration given to work that demonstrates a student’s strengths and interests.


First grade students can respond to literature (read and heard) by choosing what they like about the story and/or why they would recommend the books to peers.  Samples of  written work should reflect some minor revisions made by the student during conferences with the teacher.  Portfolio should include 3-4 samples, chosen by student and teacher, collected over the year.  The collection should be chosen to illustrate student growth as a reader and writer.


Second graders will have stories to tell and can include in their portfolios stories told from varied perspectives.   These students will be able to demonstrate their developing writing through revisions and editing done in concert with the teacher during regular conferences.  Students and teachers should discuss the reasons why a particular piece of writing might be included in the portfolio.  Expository text should be a part of the student’s writing and should be represented in the portfolio.


By the end of third grade, students are aware of the critical nature of readers and should begin to view their own writing critically and to write for an audience.  Through conferences with teachers, students should talk about what they want to convey to readers and how best to accomplish their goal.  An increase in expository writing should be evident in the portfolio.