Once students have mastered equivalent fractions they begin working on more complicated fractions, like improper fractions to mixed numbers. When you see the words improper fractions and mixed numbers, you think of complicated math. In reality, turning improper fractions into mixed numbers is quite easy. Some visuals and fun games will help students realize how simple this math concept can be. Keep reading for 3 fun ideas to implement when teaching improper fractions into mixed numbers with your students!
1. Show Introduction Videos
Students really show interest when they are given a video to watch. While I don’t recommend videos for everything, a short clip that reiterates your teaching point can provide a lot of value. Start a lesson or activity with a brief video that restates the skills students just learned. Here are a few great improper fractions to mixed numbers videos that students seem to enjoy.
The first is a 4 minutes video with Mr. J. Have students follow along with a piece of paper to see if they understand. I recommend playing it multiple times, once to watch and another to practice along. This gives students plenty of practice.
The next video gives students a visual representation of numbers moving when they are changing improper fractions to mixed numbers. I like this video because it breaks the improper and mixed numbers down for students to understand better.
Finally, we have to include a video that shows students something they all love, PIZZA! The video includes other foods broken into improper fractions and also explains them as mixed numbers. Students like to see the visual representation of the food items for clarification with fractions.
2. Incorporate Review Games
What’s the perfect way to get students excited to practice their math facts? A game! Use this mixed numbers and improper fractions concentration game in math centers or small groups to motivate students. This fun memory game is always a hit.
The fraction memory game includes 6 different sets of mixed number and improper fraction cards. However, each set includes a different group of denominators so that you can easily differentiate for your students. If you don’t have time to use the game in class, send it home as homework and students can practice with their families.
To play, have students lay out the cards face down on the table or their work area. Students will take turns flipped over cards and determining if the two fractions are equivalent. If they don’t match, they turn the cards back over. If they match, they get to keep the set and go again. Students should help one another out if they come to the wrong conclusion. This allows students to cross-check one another and get extra math practice between turns.
The Improper Fraction into Mixed Numbers Concentration Game is easy to download and print. Just cut out the cards, laminate, and use year after year.
3. Use Objects to Change Improper Fractions into Mixed Numbers
You most likely have many different teaching manipulatives in the classroom that can be used during math. One of which is probably a set of legos or colored blocks. These types of tools are great to have on hand to show students how fractions work.
Use the objects to build representations of your improper and mixed fractions. Make sure students know what each block represents (for example 1/3), so they can build with them correctly. As they lay out the blocks, they will be able to see how their improper fractions turn into mixed numbers.
I recommend supplying students with manipulatives like this while they work on activities so they can use visual representations to work through their thoughts.
Using a combination of manipulatives, short videos that restate your lesson and a fun game to get students engaged will help improve their math facts. Before you know it, your students will be mastering improper fractions and mixed numbers in no time!