*Contributor: Erika Wargo. Lesson ID: 12537*

What is an improper fraction? Is it one that doesn't have good manners? Hardly. It's just one that can be better understood as a mixed number. Learn how to convert them to make a better Smoothie! Yum!

categories

subject

Math

learning style

Visual

personality style

Beaver

Grade Level

Intermediate (3-5)

Lesson Type

Skill Sharpener

The cake recipe requires ^{8}⁄_{3} cup of sugar. How many full cups of sugar will you need? How do you write ^{8}⁄_{3} as a mixed number?

An *improper* fraction is a fraction that has a *numerator*, or top number, that is greater than or equal to the *denominator*, or bottom number.

An improper fraction can be rewritten as a *mixed number*. A mixed number is a whole number and a proper fraction together, such as 4½. As you watch *Change an Improper Fraction into a Mixed Number* to review the steps, write down the answers to these questions:

- What is a proper fraction?
- What is an improper fraction?
- What two ways are shown in the video on how to change an improper fraction into a mixed number?

Discuss the questions with a parent or adult after watching *Change an Improper Fraction into a Mixed Number *by Visual Math with Ms Steele:

To write an improper fraction as a whole number or mixed number:

- Divide the numerator by the denominator.
- Write down the whole number answer.
- If there is a remainder, write the remainder above the original denominator to create a new fraction.

**Example 1** Write ^{5}⁄_{4} as a mixed number. Draw a picture to show that the improper fraction and the mixed number are equal.

- Divide the numerator by the denominator.

- Write down the whole number answer. You can see in the example above the whole number is 1.
- Write the remainder above the original denominator. The remainder is 1 and the original denominator is 4.

The improper fraction ^{5}⁄_{4} changes to 1¼ as a mixed number.

- Begin by drawing two whole rectangles.
- The denominator of the fraction part of
^{5}⁄_{4}and 1¼ is 4, so divide each rectangle into fourths. - There is one whole figure shaded, which is
^{4}⁄_{4}, and ¼ of the second figure shaded. - If you count each shaded square, there are 4 squares shaded in one figure and 1 square shaded in the other, so
^{4}⁄_{4}+ ¼ =^{5}⁄_{4}. The improper fraction that represents this figure is^{5}⁄_{4}.

**Example 2** At the beginning of the lesson, you were given the following problem:

*The cake recipe requires ^{8}⁄_{3} cup of sugar. *

- Divide the numerator by the denominator.
- Write down the whole number answer.
- If there is a remainder, write the remainder above the original denominator to create a new fraction.

The improper fraction ^{8}⁄_{3} is equal to 2^{2}⁄_{3}. You will need 2 full cups of sugar.

Discuss with a parent or teacher:

- In your own words, explain what an improper fraction is.
- What three steps are followed to change an improper fraction to a mixed number?

In the *Got It?* section, you will practice changing improper fractions to mixed numbers with interactive games and practice.

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