The idea of the variable is central to the study of Algebra I Honors. Developing an understanding of how to use variable expressions, equations, and inequalities to represent the world around us, how to manipulate these expressions, and how to graph them are the underlying themes of the class. To this end, students enrolling in Algebra I Honors should be capable of abstract thinking; not only have they thoroughly mastered the basic computational skills of mathematics, but they are ready and able to think critically about what they are doing and, more importantly, why. Students are expected to be familiar with concepts essential to success in Algebra: the order of operations, operations with signed numbers, and the distributive property. The essentials of the course include: solving and graphing linear and quadratic equations and inequalities, factoring, simplifying and manipulating rational expressions, linear functions, and simplifying and manipulating square roots of real numbers.