Reading Out Loud?

Just a curiosity and a question for those elementary school teachers out there; NOTE, I am specifically talking about Upper Elementary, grades 4-6.

How much reading out loud do you do with your students?  How often do they read to you?  Is a students ability to read out loud fluently a good indication of their reading level?  Is reading out-loud a skill that should be nurtured, or is it one of those things that we teach in schools only so they can do well in school?  Is reading (in the upper elementary grades) more of a mental process than an oral one?  Is oral reading good assessment practice?

Just trying to wrap my head around a few of these questions and would love any feedback.

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