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February 19, 2014

Math Workshop: Teacher Time - Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions

I guess this week is turning out to be a Math explosion type of week.  Yesterday my class reached the dreaded renaming of fractions lesson... I haven't figured out if I'll be teaching it again next year when we transition to Common Core, but for a second it seemed a little brutal (and I started hoping and praying that this would be my last year teaching it).  

How I set it up changes a little bit every year.  Yesterday I started by drawing a rectangle on the whiteboard for my small groups.  The rectangle represented how I wanted my small group to set up their whiteboards.  I drew a vertical line down the middle to show the transition between the Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions (which I guess are now just called Fractions).   We started on the left top corner with a Mixed Number and wrote the symbols x and + in the top corner.  It was a reminder for the kids that the only operations they are allowed to do over on that side of the board were multiply and add.  After they found the fraction they placed it on the right side of the board with an arrow to show the transition. 

The right side showed how to transition from an Improper Fraction (symbols for division and subtraction) back to a Mixed Number.  On the right side we had the improper fraction, and then showed the division problem underneath- working to the point when we had the whole number and remainder.  At this point the kids got the connection between long division (which they all now grasp from a few months ago), and saw where the numbers came from to make up the Mixed Number.  Oh, it was a huge lightbulb that went off with all my groups!!!  I wanted to get up and do the happy dance when that happened (I think I actually did).  

Then we continued on with more examples and the kids were able to do it every single time!!

If the number came out the same going through the 3 steps (Mixed to Improper to Division back to Mixed) then we celebrated knowing we had checked our math correctly.

How do you teach the relationship between Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions?  Jivey is having a math linky today - so linking up with her to share what my class did!  

1 comment:

  1. I love telling my kids to make their fractions "MAD" - multiply, add, denominator (to change from mixed to improper). :) Thanks for linking up, BBB!


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