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Frequently Asked Questions
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Why is Summit Math called a Guided Discovery curriculum?While some math textbooks use an approach that starts with a worked out example and then provides some practice problems that build on that initial example, Summit Math books are designed to build a student's knowledge of a topic by having them solve problems that get gradually more complex. The author's goal is for students to experience a sense of discovery as they learn, whether they are in a classroom or at home. When a student begins a book, they can start on Scenario #1 and try to complete it on their own. They can then check the Answer Key to see how they did, and then move on to the next one. If a student is stuck, they can check the Answer Key to see if it helps them figure out how to complete the scenario. If they still need more help and they are in a classroom setting, they can get that help from a classmate or a teacher. In a homeschooling setting, they can get help from a parent or the Summit Math Teaching Videos.

How can teachers use Summit Math books to facilitate studentcentered learning?1. If desired, the teacher can teach a short lesson to introduce a topic, but this may not be needed. Students can open their books and start the first scenario. If they work in cooperative learning groups, they can discuss their ideas as they progress. 2. The teacher can move around the room and observe them as they work. 3. When students need help, they can ask another classmate or ask the teacher. 4. If several students need guidance on the same scenario, the teacher can gather them together for a minilesson. 5. When a student finishes each scenario, they can check their answer at the back of the book and see if they need more guidance. 6. Students learn at different paces. Those who move at a faster pace can help their classmates, if desired. They may find that they enjoy the experience of teaching. 7. Teachers can implement other activities to supplement the learning that occurs as students progress through each Summit Math book.

How can Summit Math books be used by homeschooling families and/or for enrichment?Summit Math books make it possible to learn math at home without direct instruction from a parent. These openandlearn textbooks are designed to make math approachable. Each book is like a path that guides a student through their learning. An Answer Key is included to give them immediate feedback as they advance through each book. If a student uses these books to learn math at home, and they need more instruction, they can subscribe to teaching videos for $9/month. The videos provide stepbystep guidance through every scenario in the Guided Discovery section of each book. See the Teaching Videos

How should a student use the teaching videos?The teaching videos guide a student stepbystep through each problem in the Guided Discovery section of each book. The Guided Discovery section is the first half of the book and the problems are designed to gradually build learning. When a student is using the Summit Math books, they should try to solve a problem on their own first, but if they need direct instruction, they can go to the video for that scenario to get a stepbystep explanation. The videos provide direct teaching when needed, but whenever a student can solve a problem on their own first, that can be good for developing their sense of independence and confidence as a learner. When a student is watching a teaching video, they should work along with the video until they think they can continue on without help. They can then pause the video and see how far they can go without help. As soon as they need help again, they can continue using the videos.

Is this a spiral or masterybased curriculum?Summit Math is a blend of spiral and mastery. Each book leads a student toward mastery, and in order to achieve that, it may spiral back if looking back on previous topics will help them get their brain ready for a new idea. Some spiral curricula cover topics lightly and then move on to other topics before eventually coming back around to previously seen topics. These books spiral to the extent that new topics sometimes use and apply topics from previous books, but each book is essentially masterybased. Each book covers a specific topic, starts simpler, and then gradually gets more complex. By the time a student reaches the end of a book, they have learned a lot about a particular topic. There are 15 books in the Summit Math Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 Series and within those 15 books there are many times that books spiral back to topics in previous books in order make sure students understand what they previously learned really well before they go on to learn more advanced concepts that build on those earlier ideas.

Is there a pacing guide for homeschooling parents?Yes. To see the pacing guide, click the link below: Pacing Guide

How can a parent find out if their child is ready to start learning the topics in a particular book or Series?You can have your child take the Algebra 1 or Algebra 2 Placement Test to see if they are ready to start the books in that particular series. Algebra 1 Placement Test Algebra 2 Placement Test

How is each book organized?The first half of the book is the Guided Discovery Scenarios, which are designed to guide a student through the process of learning each topic. The second half of the book is the "Homework & Extra Practice Scenarios." These scenarios reinforce what the student learns in the Guided Discovery section. Each section has an Answer Key. The Answer Key for the Guided Discovery Scenarios is approximately in the middle of the book. The Answer Key for the Homework & Extra Practice Scenarios is at the end of the book.

When should a student use a calculator?A calculator helps you by allowing you to spend less time on numerical computation so you can spend more time doing everything else you need to do to solve the problem you are currently working on. When you are older, you will likely have a calculator with you to help you do simple math computations so it may not be necessary for you to take time to multiply 2 digit numbers, or add large numbers in your head, or convert the fraction 2/15 to a decimal, to name 3 examples. On the other hand, getting overly dependent on a calculator can make a student forget how to do quick calculations in their head and that can be useful in some situations. For example, if a student doesn't know their times tables up to 10x10, they may spend more time doing simple multiplication calculations and over time, they may progress more slowly through a topic that builds on their knowledge of multiplication. To summarize, use a calculator when it will help you do a calculation more quickly that would otherwise take you a long time. When possible, try to avoid using a calculator to help you exercise your brain's ability to do mental math. Above all, though, it's ok for a student to use a calculator if it's going to help them finish the current scenario and give them a chance to move forward and keep learning.

Why does each Summit Math book cover a topic instead of a full course?Every school teaches math a little bit differently. Teachers should be able to buy the topics they actually teach, instead of buying a textbook they may not be able to use in its entirety. Summit Math books provide flexibility for teachers who want to customize their curriculum.

Why are Summit Math books printed as smaller paperback books instead of larger textbooks?1. Textbooks can be heavy. Summit Math books are easy to carry around. 2. Textbooks can be long, giving the impression that they will never be completed. Students enjoy reaching the end of Summit Math books and knowing that they have "reached the summit" of that particular book. 3. You can customize your curriculum and only buy the books that cover the topics you want to learn.

What can a teacher do if some students advance quickly through a book while other students advance slowly?A teacher can get creative with managing various student paces. Some possible strategies include: 1. Encourage students who advance quickly through a book to play a more active role in the class as an extra explainer. Students deepen their own understanding when they try to teach someone else what they have learned. 2. Find additional math tasks for students to engage in when they finish a section before other students in the class. 3. For students who advance more slowly, identify scenarios they can skip without missing core concepts.

When do teachers give assessments if students advance at different paces?One option is to let students take assessments when they get to certain points in the book. This approach requires that a teacher is comfortable letting students take assessments at different times. Another option is to give the entire class an assessment when every student has reached a particular point in that book. This approach requires that a teacher marks points in each book at which they want to assess learning.

Are these books a complete curriculum?Yes. They teach typical topics in the Algebra 1 and Algebra 2 sequence. The author is also working on writing books that cover topics in Geometry, Advanced Algebra, Trigonometry and Precalculus. The books are written to prepare students for success on the SAT, ACT and other standardized tests.

Do these books align with the Common Core Standards?Summit Math books are not officially recognized as aligning with Common Core Standards, though they align with the Common Core goal of helping students successfully build a strong foundation in math. The primary goal of each Summit Math book is to help students thoroughly understand specific topics in math and to accomplish this goal by starting simple and gradually building their understanding.

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