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Changing Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers - Grade 5



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Changing Improper Fractions to Mixed Numbers - Grade 5

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An improper fraction is one in which the numerator is more than the denominator. Example: 12/8. When we see an improper fraction, it needs to be changed to a proper fraction, in which the numerator is smaller than the denominator. The fastest, easiest way is to subtract the denominator from the numerator and then write what is left as a proper fraction. In the example above, 12 - 8 = 4. So 12/8 becomes 1 - 1/2. When a number contains both a whole number and a fraction, we call this a mixed number.Please see below for a selection of Leveled Lessons for Below Level (basic), and/or On Level (median), and/or Above Level (competent) students.
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Teaching Tips

Help students understand improper fractions and mixed numbers by using three sheets of colored construction paper. Fold each sheet in half and half and half again, unfold and cut all three sheets into 8 pieces. Mark each sheet with the fraction 1/8--it is important for students to see you do this. Do not do it ahead of time.


Now pass out some of the pieces of paper to two groups of students. One group may have twelve eights and the other may have seven eights.


Ask the students to put the pieces back together to try to form a whole sheet of construction paper. The group with only seven eights will not be able to make the whole sheet. 7/8 is a fractional part of a whole. The group with twelve eights will not only be able to reconstruct the whole sheet of paper, it will have some pieces left over. This is a demonstration of a mixed number. The second group would write their number as 1 - 4/8. The may also be able to see that 4/8 is an equivalent of 1/2. Repeat this activity several times giving different numbers of EIGHTS to different groups.