Fostering Social-Emotional Learning in Your Classroom

By Annie Thornton 08.29.2015 blog

As educators, we do everything we can to create a nurturing classroom environment for our students — but sometimes, they face obstacles we just don’t know about. That’s why we’ve created the following lesson plan, designed to help you establish and maintain positive connections within your class. In 2015, Channel One News reported about #IWishMyTeacherKnew, a classroom activity that gained popularity after Denver teacher Kyle Schwartz tweeted about her experience using the exercise with students. Let this video help your class understand what this activity has done for other students.

Invite your students to:

Watch: I Wish My Teacher Knew


Discuss: How did Ms. Schwartz’s “I Wish My Teacher Knew” assignment make a difference in her classroom? What makes this a valuable activity for teachers? For students?

Model: Share an interesting or important fact about yourself by filling in one (or more) of your own “I Wish My Students Knew” notes. Share aloud with your class, inviting students’ questions or comments.

Write: Have students fill out their own “I Wish My Classmates Knew” notes. Invite students to write one interesting, surprising or important fact about themselves to share with their classmates.

Share: In small groups, students share their notes with one another. If time allows, have students switch groups and share responses again. If time is limited, call on one student volunteer from each group to share aloud. You may also wish to create a classroom bulletin board to display student work.

Expand: Invite students to complete a second note: “I Wish My Teacher Knew.” Inform them that only you will see these. Give students the option to write their names on their notes or remain anonymous.

Reflect: Ask students to complete a written reflection based on what they’ve heard and shared during this lesson. You may choose to use students’ reflections to inform future instruction, or to assist you in furthering connections among your students. Suggested writing prompts: What did you learn about your classmates? Which responses surprised you the most? With whom do you share something in common? Who would you like to get to know better and why? How can you help one or more of your classmates, based on a challenge they’ve shared?

We know how challenging it can be to find grade-appropriate, multimedia content that meets your students’ varying academic needs. That’s why we’ve curated Channel One News Premium video library, with more than 3,000 videos, multimedia content and lesson plans to support learning around current events. Learn more about Channel One Premium, and subscribe today! 


Micha Klootwijk/Bigstock

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  1. David tidwell

    i moved to a different school so i kinda feal the same way

  2. Kiki

    I would think this is pretty cool, being a kid myself, I would say this is sort of smart, because most kids don’t wanna say things out loud.

  3. Lailah

    Well I love watching Chanel One at school during study hall when my teacher turns it on and wanted to say I absolutely LOVE it .

  4. chalee

    I wish my teacher knew how hard it is leaving with my parnets

    • David tidwell

      its OK everyone has a ruff time 🙂

      • dickson graph

        WHAT DO U MEAN?

    • David tidwell

      some times i m like that too but also i real y love my parents

  5. Dashie

    wow just wow I don’t know what to say

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