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In the Summit Math books, math problems are called scenarios. This wording is used because in this curriculum, students do more than solve math problems. They learn by completing a series of tasks, designed to guide their mind toward specific ideas in mathematics. The scenarios in each Summit Math book are arranged to show students that new math concepts are related to previous concepts they have already learned. As students complete each scenario, the ordering encourages them to arrive at their own understanding first and to then reinforce what they have learned as they progress farther along in that book.
When these books are used in a classroom setting, the teacher has more time to engage with students who need their guidance, while students who are ready to progress can continue to move forward. Students naturally learn at different paces and these books allow a teacher to facilitate those paces.
The Answer Key is provided for each scenario to give students immediate feedback. After checking the Answer Key, the student can then decide what to do with that feedback: move ahead, ask another student for help, or ask the teacher for more guidance.
Some scenarios are marked with a star symbol, _. These scenarios are there to provide additional challenges for students who are working at faster paces. If students skip scenarios marked with a star, they will still learn the core concepts of that book. These books allow students to work through different numbers of scenarios, while ensuring that each student is able to reach the ultimate goal of learning the topics in a given book.