Mixed Numbers to Improper Fractions Activities & Games

Instructor: Maria Airth

Maria has a Doctorate of Education and over 20 years of experience teaching psychology and math related courses at the university level.

Getting students excited about learning to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions can be tricky. These highly engaging games and activities will have your students converting fractions and loving it.

Are Fractions Hard?

It seems like students run, screaming, for the hills whenever their teacher mentions fractions. Combine that with different types of fractions (such as mixed numbers and improper fractions) and teachers are up against a veritable wall of insecurity stopping students from learning the concepts.

How can teachers break through the wall and get students really engaged in learning about fractions? Gaming. Kids of all ages love to play games. When you play games in the classroom, many students feel like they are getting away with a free day during class and don't even notice that they are learning while having fun with each other.

This lesson offers physically active and inactive games and activities for your students to practice how to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions. It is assumed that students have already been exposed to this concept and these games are intended for practice work.

Physically Active Games

You will need lots of room for students to run around for these games. These games will require matching sets of index cards showing mixed numbers and their corresponding improper fractions.

Relay Race


  • Index card sets


  • Divide your class into groups of five.
  • Give each group five cards showing mixed numbers.
  • Place the corresponding improper fractions for each group in a pile equidistant from the groups (add distractor cards to the improper fractions piles so that these piles have ten cards instead of just five).
  • At a signal, groups will send one member at a time (relay style) to exchange a mixed number card for the equivalent improper fraction card and return to their group.
  • The first team to have all members return with the correct improper fractions wins.

Match Me


  • Index card sets


  • Give students one card each (making sure to hand out matching pairs of mixed number/improper fraction sets).
  • At a signal, students should mingle with each other to find matching sets.
  • When students have all paired off in matching sets, go around the room and have students call out their mixed number and improper fraction set.


To make this a competitive game, divide the class into teams (larger teams will work better). Give each team a set of cards (mixed number and improper fraction cards mixed together). At a signal, the teams must race to get their cards matched up correctly first.

Make It


  • Divide your class into groups of six to eight students.
  • Give groups plenty of space to work on the floor.
  • Call out a mixed number (like 1 1/5), the groups must then form the corresponding improper fraction (6/5) with their own bodies on the floor. For example, one student would lay straight making the fraction bar while two curved to form the six and another two (or three) formed the five together.
  • If needed, give students the hint that they should choose a group captain to oversee the number formation for the others.

Less Physically Active Games

These games and activities can be accomplished without much need to move around the classroom.

A Piece of the Pie


  • Circles of card stock paper (one per student)
  • Scissors (one pair per group)
  • Markers (one set per group)
  • Writing paper

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