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Students Use Pizza Boxes to Improve Communication

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Marian Deaton talks to her mother about what she is doing in school
TARBORO — Depending on the grades a child gets, report cards are either a joy orabsolute agony. A teacher in Edgecombe County is adding a new routine tohis classes to help parents and kids connect when grades go home.

Marian Deaton is having a heart-to-heart talk with her mother. The subjectis school: what she's doing, and what she's planning. Her new portfoliohelps her show her progress.

The parent-child discussion is a mandatory part of Marshall Matson's seventhgrade classes at Martin Middle School. Each student turns an old pizzabox into a container for school work and personal goals. Then, threetimes a year, talks about the portfolio with a parent.

Matson said the portfolio gives parents a chance to hear about what theirkids are doing in school.

Part of the discussion is a computer program each student uses to show momor dad what the class is doing. The program is just beginning, but parentsare already excited about the possibilities.

Portfolios, agendas and measurable goals may be new terms to students thisage, but supporters say learning them now will make them easier to handleonce the classroom and the pizza boxes are a memory.

Edgecombe County leaders are embracing the portfolio idea. This afternoon,the central office released $15,000 in grant money to encourage teachersto come up with similar ideas.

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