Mixed Numbers Activities & Games

Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

Are your students having trouble with their fractions? Check out this lesson for ideas to engage your students in learning about mixed numbers through a variety of activities and games that will also deepen their understanding.

Mixed Number Activities

What's in the Box?

With this activity, students put together mixed numbers to get a visual representation.

Materials

Provide the following for each student pair:

  • At least 2 pizza boxes (or some type of storage box)
    • If you can't get boxes, use large, zippered baggies
  • Pictures of 2 different food items cut into fractional amounts and placed in each box/bag
    • Example box one: 2 1/12 pizzas or 25/12
    • Example box two: 3 1/5 cookie cakes or 16/5
  • Notebook
  • Sticky notes
  • Pencils

Procedure

  • Students work with a partner.
  • Tell students you have some treats for them! Then, explain that you ordered some pizza and cookie cakes for everyone (whatever food you choose). However, on your way to school this morning, the roads were pretty rough and all of the slices got mixed up!
  • Students must work together to put the food items back together to see if there is enough food for everyone in the class to have an equal amount.
  • Provide each pair of students with 2 boxes. Make sure the slices in each box can be put together to form a mixed number.
  • Partners will work to put their 'treats' back together as a whole and its parts.
  • Once the pair of students have figured out the mixed number for each box, they will record their answer on a sticky note and place it on top of the box.
  • Then, each pair of students must decide if they have enough food to give equal amounts to the entire class. If so, they must explain how they will do this. If it does not work out, students must try to figure out a way to change their fractional amounts so that the students in the class could get an equal amount.
  • Discuss results as a class.

Correct Line-Up

Students get to create, compare, and order fractions with this activity.

Materials

Provide the following for each student group:

  • Deck of playing cards
  • Notebook
  • Pencils and/or pens

Procedure

  • Students will work in groups of 3-5.
  • Review how to turn an improper fraction to a mixed number and vice versa.
  • Explain that each group of students will use their deck of cards to show how an improper fraction looks as a mixed number.
  • Each group of students will receive a deck of playing cards. One student will shuffle the deck.
  • Students will take turns choosing two cards from the deck at a time. Once all students in the group have a pair of cards, they must create an improper fraction with those cards.
  • Then, each student will convert their improper fraction into a mixed number.
    • Example: 7/4 = 1 3/4.
  • As soon as all students in the group have converted their improper fractions, they must work together to order their mixed numbers from greatest to least.
  • They will record this order in their notebooks and select new cards from the deck.
  • Encourage students to help one another.

Mixed Number Games

Your students get to show what they know about mixed numbers with these games.

I'm all Mixed Up!

Students must convert improper fractions to mixed numbers in this board game.

Materials

Provide the following for each student group:

  • Gameboard (hand-made or from another board game
  • 1 die
  • Set of dominoes
  • Game pieces
  • Paper and pencil

Rules:

  • Students will work in groups of 3-5.
  • Explain that students will mix up all of the dominoes and place them upside down.
  • Students will roll the die to decide who goes first.
  • Player one will select a domino. They will turn the domino in the correct direction to make an improper fraction (larger numerator). Then, he/she must convert the improper fraction to a mixed number.
    • Example domino: 6 dots on top and 5 dots below, 6/5 = 1 1/5
  • The other players will decide if this is done correctly. If correct, player one will roll the die to see how many spaces he/she moves on the gameboard. If incorrect, the domino is returned and the next player goes.
  • Play will continue to the left of player one. Players continue taking turns until one player makes it to the end of the gameboard.

Challenge

  • Students could select two domino pieces at once to create an improper fraction.

Minute to Win It with Mixed Numbers

Students get to play a mathematical version of Minute to Win It!

Materials

Provide the following for each student group:

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