DENVER -- Third-grade teacher Kyle Schwartz is used to telling her students about the world. But she wanted to know more about the world they live in, where 93 percent of the students qualify for meal assistance.
She created a simple assignment where she wrote "I wish my teacher knew..." and ask her students to fill in the answer.
"It's just a simple, powerful way to let kids advocate for themselves," said Schwartz.
Here are some of the answers Schwartz posted to her Twitter account:
Some of the students we spoke with told us it was a lot easier writing down their feelings as a class assignment, instead of saying it out loud. Mikylah Lenkiewizc took the opportunity to explain why she sometimes comes to school tired.
"What I wanted her to know is that I don't get much sleep at night because my baby sister, she cries a lot," said Mikylah.
A great idea caught on. Teachers in at least 17 states have used the assignment.
A student in Winchester, Virginia wrote: "I got bullied on the bus. It made me feel sad."
Some were typical kid gripes: "My homework is not as easy on Mondays."
But the biggest change was in Schwartz' own classroom.
"When there was a note that said 'I wish my teacher knew I don't have a friend to play with,' the next day at recess all the girls huddled around her and they were all playing together because kids support each other," said Schwartz.