In a ninth-grade Algebra I course, students learn to solve problems using the foundational rules of mathematical computations, and they learn to solve algebraic expressions to find the values of variables. Some Algebra I problems require students to graph equations and inequalities. The study of equations in Algebra I helps prepare students for the study of functions in Precalculus and Calculus courses.
Some rules that students learn in Algebra I include the commutative rule of addition, which says that a + b = b + a, and the transitive property of equality, which states that if a = b and b = c, then it follows that a = c. Knowledge of rules like these allows students to accurately manipulate algebraic equations so they can isolate an unknown variable on one side of an equation. Problems based on these rules typically present students with an algebraic expression containing one or more unknown quantities and ask students to solve for x.
A typical graphing problem requires Algebra I students to draw the graph of a straight line or a parabola. The problem may then list a number of points and ask students to figure out whether each point falls on the line or parabola. Students can solve this type of problem by locating the points on the graph or by plugging the x- and y-coordinates into the equation and seeing if the result is a true statement.