Once your students have a firm understanding of fractions, introduce mixed numbers and their relation to improper fractions. These resources will make the transition simple, with worksheets and exercises that allow them to help each other as a group and practice individually to test their skills. For extra review have your students check out our fifth grade equivalent fractions resources.
When dealing with fractions as part of a whole or a set, students will naturally infer that the numerator will never exceed the denominator because it represents the whole from which the pieces were taken. Of course, mathematics aren’t that simple and students will soon encounter mixed numbers and improper fractions.
A mixed number is when you have more than one whole, as well as some pieces of the whole. This is written with the number of instances of the whole in front of the fraction representing the remaining pieces.
For example, if you have three pizzas cut into four pieces, then someone eats one piece of one of the pizzas, you still have two whole pizzas. But your student can’t ignore the remaining pieces of the third. This would be written as 2 ¾ pizzas because there are two whole pizzas and three out of the four pieces of the third.
An improper fractions is simply when the numerator is higher than the denominator.
In order to convert a mixed number to an improper fraction, the student must understand that each whole is simple a full set of the pieces. To calculate the total, the student must take the denominator and multiply it by the number of whole objects. This will give the total number of pieces those whole objects represent. Adding this to the numerator will give the student an improper fraction they can work with.
Students can practice identifying and converting mixed numbers and improper fractions using the resources provided above by Education.com.