Students build on the foundational concepts presented in Grades K-8. Algebraic thinking and symbolic reasoning play a critical role in algebra. Since functions provide the foundation of Algebra I and Algebra II, this course uses a “function” approach as it provides the student opportunities to solve problems in real life situations. The study of functions, equations and their relationships is central to all of mathematics. Students perceive functions and equations as a means for analyzing and understanding a broad variety of relationships and as a useful tool for expressing generalizations. Students perceive the connections between algebra and geometry and use the tools of one to help solve problems in the other. Students use concrete, pictorial, numerical, symbolic, graphical, and verbal tools and technology to model mathematical situations to solve meaningful problems. The course is not totally dependent upon a graphing calculator, but it is used extensively throughout the year.