Activities to Teach Students to Convert Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions

As educators, one of our primary goals is to help our students develop a strong foundation in mathematics, which is a key subject in facilitating success in many fields. One concept that can cause confusion among students is converting mixed numbers to improper fractions, and it is essential that we find effective ways to teach this topic.

Helping Students Master Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions

One way to help students understand the concept of mixed numbers to improper fractions is by using visual aids. Often, students may not understand how to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions because they have a limited understanding of fractions to begin with. In this case, it may be helpful to use manipulatives like fraction bars, circles, or plates.

Using fraction plates, for instance, you can demonstrate how mixed numbers are simply wholes and parts. For instance, if you have two whole circles and one more section, you can use the fraction plates to show how that would be expressed in an improper fraction with a numerator greater than the denominator: 5/2. This learning experience can be rewarding and joyful as you can have group activities and games surrounding the concept of fractions.

Another effective technique is to use real-life situations to illustrate the importance of knowing how to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions. For instance, you can bring up a recipe that calls for a mixed number and show how converting it to an improper fraction can make it easier to scale up or down. Alternatively, you can point to a sporting event where the score is expressed as a mixed number and show how it can be converted to a more standard expression to avoid confusion.

Game Activities to Teach Converting Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions

Teaching children through play and games is an effective method to help them understand, remember, and apply the concepts they learn. Here are some enjoyable games to consider when teaching mixed numbers to improper fractions to your students:

1. Mix and Match

Divide the class into pairs and provide each pair with a deck of cards, instructing them to remove all the face cards. Then, they are to draw two cards and use them to create a mixed number. The players have to convert them to improper fractions and compare. The first player with the highest improper fraction score earns a point.

2. Giant Fraction Maze Game

This game is often best played outside with colored chalk to create the path of the labyrinth. Divide up your class into teams of three, giving each team one set of mixed number and improper fraction cards. Each player will have to convert the mixed number cards into an improper fraction and shout out the answer. If they get it right, the team gets to take one step down the maze path. The first team that reaches the end of the maze wins.

3. Master Chef Fractions

For this game, students are to partner up, and they must have a tray of different fractions uncovered. They are to convert them to improper fractions and put them in order from least to greatest. This game can be a delicious way of teaching children about fractions as you can have edible fraction fractions that they can dissect and have to put them back together.


Converting mixed numbers to improper fractions is an essential skill that students need to understand to be successful in math. Using visual aids, real-life examples, and game activities, educators can make the learning process more enjoyable and memorable for students. Math can be a fun subject, and with the right tools and guidance, students can develop a love for it.  

Choose your Reaction!