What Is the Syllabus of an Algebra I Course?

Instructor: Jessica Keys
In Algebra I, students expand on the fundamentals learned in previous math courses in order to work with unknown values (variables). Students continue using the skills learned in this course in geometry, trigonometry, calculus and beyond, so continue reading to see what's covered in this important subject.

Algebra I Course Syllabus

In some public school districts, algebra is introduced at the middle school level, though students might not take this subject until high school. To get an idea of the course topics and sequencing for this class, check out the video lessons and quizzes in this full Algebra I course. A breakdown of some of the typical topics of discussion is provided below.

Expressions and Inequalities

Students evaluate general algebraic expressions, while learning how to interpret parentheses and perform the correct order of operations. Students also learn how to solve inequalities, work with absolute value expressions and simplify and solve equations with exponents.

To explore these topics in depth, take a look at these fun lessons on algebraic expressions, inequalities and exponents.

Linear Equations and Functions

Algebra I introduces students to linear equations and inequalities with one or more variables in them. In a typical Algebra I course, students will:

  • Plot one- and two-variable equations on the coordinate plane
  • Graph regions of numbers that are covered by linear inequalities
  • Calculate where an equation intercepts the x- and y- axes on a coordinate plane
  • Calculate the domain and range of an equation
  • Derive the equation of a line, given its slope and y-intercept (slope-intercept form), as well as its slope and another point on the line (point-slope form)
  • Solve and graph systems of multiple equations

Function basics are also usually covered at this level. Students learn how these mathematical expressions yield a certain output (f(x), or the dependent variable) when given a certain input (x, or the independent variable).

Check out lessons on linear equations and function properties to see what else might be covered.

Polynomials and Quadratic Functions

Polynomials are functions that contain multiple variables, constants and positive integer exponents. Students typically get their first exposure to polynomials by working with quadratic functions in their standard, vertex and intercept forms. Topics of instruction usually include:

  • Quadratic formula basics, such as solving, graphing and analysis
  • Methods for factoring quadratic equations, or 'completing the square' to solve
  • Real-world applications of the quadratic formula

Because of its complexity, this can be a difficult topic to master. Students who need extra help can view these lessons on factoring and solving quadratic equations.

Other Topics

An Algebra I course might cover additional topics, such as logic, statistics and data modeling, scientific notation and other types of functions (e.g. piecewise, exponential). However, depending on a school's curriculum, these topics could be reserved for a higher level course. Take a look at this Algebra II class to find out what topics are typically covered at this level of instruction.