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Elilah's Vocabulary

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Background:
Elilah is a 14 year old ninth grade student at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, CT who is in my Honors Principles of Biomedical Science class. Although I have only met Elilah four times for a total of 6 hours it has come to my attention that she struggles with comprehending written directions as well as oral directions. Twice I have sent her entire class off with both oral and written directions and Elilah is often sitting by herself without completing the assignment. I have approached her at least twice during both these sessions to help her. We read directions one on one, we define vocabulary together and then I ask her to repeat the objective which she still finds very challenging. When I am not with her I find her looking up words on the computer from the directions. (Examples: beneficiary, jealousy) She has not completed a Student Interest Survey; I give all students at the beginning of the year, so I have not seen any writing samples yet.
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She said she often does not understand what she is reading and she does struggle with vocabulary. She says her mom is always trying to get her to read more. She does read some books online she said but usually does not read anything beyond required school
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