It's amazing what reading aloud to your students will do.
For the past 4 years, I have started the year off reading The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau. I teach 6th grade...and the book's reading level is a grade equivalent of 5.1. It's an independent level book for 75% of my students, but I'm still reading it to them.
We're nearing the end, and each day when I have to put it away, they are begging me to continue reading. Kids crave a good story. They will sit and listen. They enjoy it. It makes them think. They discuss the story and make predictions in the lunch line. They want to get caught up with what is happening when they've been absent and miss a day of reading.
I have one copy of the second book in the series, The People of Sparks, in my classroom library. The cover is not connected to the book anymore and held together by tape. I just ordered a second copy from BookMooch.com and am awaiting its arrival.
There's no technology involved in my reading aloud to the students. No flashy screens, cameras, or sound effects are attached to the book. It's just a good story.
No wonder my education professor, Dr. Susan Sherwood, stressed that you should read to your students every day. I'm a believer.
What have you read to your students lately?