I've been thinking about my Foundations of English class today. I haven't actually met with the students yet - our first class was supposed to be last Monday, but was taken up with the placement exam that most of the students should have already taken at that point. I've got five weeks to get through sentence structures, to cover the eight parts of speech, and to work on their writing skills and reading comprehension.
Since I won't have access to the actual tests they took - and the college made an error by not administering the essay portion of the exam to this batch of incoming freshmen, so I don't have that as a guide to what the kids know or don't know - I'm going to run the first class pretty much on the fly. I'm going to start off by emailing the class as a whole tonight and asking them to come to our first meeting on Monday having read the first chapter of their text and with a short essay telling me five things I should know about them. I'm going to need an idea of where we are as a whole before I can really dive in and work on what the students really don't know. I'm going to run on the (slightly pessimistic) assumption that they don't know a whole lot. I figure, that way, I won't be disappointed.