Reading is one of the biggest challenges facing our students today. There are so many different reasons why students may feel this way. They may have difficulties with decoding, fluency, and even staying interested in the material.
In the 21st Century classroom, we may need to provide different opportunities for students to read. Keep in mind that we have all types of learners coming in our doors - auditory, hands-on, visual, etc. How do we get all of our learners to read? In the 21st Century, a "one-sized-fits-all" approach may not work.
Once I had a student who needed to "hear" the text being read aloud, while following along with a paper copy. Not only did it help my reader, it also gave him the confidence he needed to continue to develop as a reader.
Free Audio Books
Tools like Books Should Be Free offer free audiobooks for you or your students to download. They provide another way to perceive the material they are reading in their books. Classics like the Wizard of Oz, War & Peace, and many others are available. There are books for any topic or category available.
Text to Speech Tools
Not interested in the classics? In the past, I have mentioned sites like Voki and VozMe are great tools to use in the classroom. Simply copy and paste an electronic copy of the text to the site and it will read it to you! Voki also lets you choose the accent you want to hear your text read from!