I Just Want to LEVELED BOOK • O
Go to School!
I Just Want
A Reading A–Z Level O Leveled Book
Word Count: 798 to Go to
Writing and Art Written by Norma Brenes
Write an acrostic poem about your Illustrated by Juan Manuel Moreno
school experience using the letters in
COVID. Each letter in the word begins www.readinga-z.com
a new line of the poem. Draw a picture
to go with your poem.
People can help stop the spread of
illnesses by social distancing, wearing
masks, and washing hands more often.
Read to learn more about one of these
topics and create a poster explaining
why it works.
for thousands of books and materials.
I Just Want Words to Know
to Go to cheerfully interrupting
School! glumly update
Written by Norma Brenes I Just Want to Go to School! Correlation
Illustrated by Juan Manuel Moreno Level O Leveled Book LEVEL O
© Learning A–Z
www.readinga-z.com Written by Norma Brenes Fountas & Pinnell M
Illustrated by Juan Manuel Moreno Reading Recovery 20
All rights reserved. DRA 28
How and why do Desi’s feelings about
school change throughout the story? www.readinga-z.com
Desi took a bite of her waffle. She Ten minutes later, Desi stared glumly
watched the clock on the wall tick. out the window as the school bus rattled
“You’re taking a long time to eat again,” its way to school. Her best friend, Tisha,
her mom declared. “The school bus will chatted happily next to her. It was hard
be here in five minutes,” she added. for Desi to hear her. The kids on the bus
were laughing and shouting. They made
Desi sighed. The truth was that she didn’t Desi’s head hurt.
want to go to school. She would rather
go anywhere else—even to Aunt Judith’s “Why do we have to go to school
house. Even if her house smelled like fish anyway?” Desi asked Tisha. “Getting
and boiled eggs, which it always did. up early, schoolwork, homework—it’s
just too much!” Tisha rolled her eyes,
Her mom took Desi’s plate away. “Time playfully nudging Desi.
to go, Desi,” she said.
“Seriously?” Tisha giggled. “How else
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 3 would you learn amazing things like
that snails have thousands of teeth?
Besides, without school, you wouldn’t
get to hang out with me every day!”
At school, Desi settled into math class. At lunchtime, Desi sat across from
Mrs. Miranda wrote a problem on the Tisha. Desi bit into a chicken nugget
whiteboard. “Okay, everyone, get out and scrunched up her face. “Ew,”
your pipe cleaners and pom-poms!” she groaned, “they’re soggy.”
Tisha popped a third nugget into her
“Remember that each pipe cleaner equals mouth and reached for Desi’s tray. “If
ten,” Mrs. Miranda said. “Look at the you don’t want yours, allow me. Come
numbers in the tens column and count here, you soggy nugget!” Tisha shouted.
out the same number of pipe cleaners.
Then use those purple pom-poms to add Desi laughed. Tisha always made the
up the numbers in the ones column,” she school day better.
explained. Maybe school isn’t that bad after
all, Desi thought. She liked doing math 6
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 5
As they walked down the hall, Desi
overheard two teachers talking.
“Have you heard how many towns
decided to shut down their schools?”
one of them whispered.
Desi wasn’t sure what she meant.
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O A few nights later, Desi was drawing
when her mom came to talk to her.
“Desi, you know the new sickness I
told you about—the one that’s been
spreading pretty quickly around the
world?” Mom asked.
Desi nodded, feeling a little scared.
She didn’t like that her mom looked
“It has made its way to our area. Some
people are getting really sick, honey,”
“To be safe, everyone is going to stay The next day, Desi slept in until 9:00 a.m.
home as much as they possibly can. She watched cartoons in her pajamas for
That means places like stores, restaurants, an hour. After that, she drew a picture
and playgrounds are going to close for on her easel. At lunch, she sat down to a
a while,” her mom explained. grilled cheese sandwich, strawberry milk,
and a freshly made chocolate chip cookie.
“Oh no!” Desi gasped.
“Schools will be shutting down while
the sickness gets under control too . . .
starting tomorrow,” her mom said quietly.
“Wait, what?” Desi shrieked. A smile
started to spread across her face.
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 9 10
Then Desi played outside in the backyard. A week later at breakfast, her mom
When she got bored, she snuggled under shared, “Your teachers emailed all
a blanket on the couch and played her of the parents. I’m going to help you
favorite video game. Desi was delighted do your schoolwork at home now,” she
that she could do whatever she wanted, announced, a bit too cheerfully.
whenever she wanted.
Desi felt as if someone had popped her
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 11 birthday balloon. So much for doing
what she wanted.
For the next few days, Desi’s mom did
her best, but things were different. Her
teacher used funny voices to read what
characters said in books. Her mom didn’t
change her voice at all. Plus, her mom
was constantly interrupting lessons to
answer work calls and emails.
When her mom tried to explain a math
problem, she didn’t use colorful pipe
cleaners and pom-poms. Nothing about
schoolwork was fun at all.
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 13 Desi was starting to miss school. She
thought about playing with Tisha and her
friends on the playground. It was boring
playing by herself every single day.
Two weeks later, Desi’s mom shared
an update from school. Desi’s teachers
would begin holding classes online.
Desi got up early the morning
of her first online class. She turned
on the computer.
cheerfully (adv.) in a happy way (p. 12)
delighted (adj.) feeling or showing
happiness (p. 11)
glumly (adv.) in a sad and quiet
way (p. 4)
Faces she didn’t even realize she interrupting (v.) to stop an activity,
had missed appeared on the screen. action, or process for
a short period of time
It sure feels good to be back in school, (p. 13)
Desi thought, even if it is different.
online (adv.) while connected to
the Internet or other
Do You Know? computer network
COVID-19 is an illness caused by
the coronavirus (kuh-ROH-nuh-vy-ruhs). update (n.) the newest
The illness started in 2019 and spread information (p. 14)
throughout the world in 2020. It
can cause serious health problems,
such as trouble breathing. It spreads
through the air. It can also spread
if people touch something that has the Wearing masks helps stop
virus on it and then touch their nose, the spread of sickness.
mouth, or eyes. When an illness like this spreads, people have
to make big changes in their lives. They stay at home most of
the time, wear masks outside their home, and wash their hands
more often. Many schools and businesses close.
I Just Want to Go to School! • Level O 15 16