Mixed Numbers

5 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


The students will be able to add and subtract mixed numbers using models and equations.

Big Idea

I’m the principal now!


15 minutes

In this lesson students will be completing a task that requires them to decide the order of the school day.  Each subject is given a fraction in hours of how much time must be spent on it but students are able to fill the remaining time with science/social studies and a special(art/music/pe).  After completing the task students will be introduced to vocabulary associated with mixed numbers.

To begin this lesson I show students a video of a school in Japan.  Since our task is based on the school day I thought it would interesting for students to see what school life was like for students in another country.  Upon completion of the video I ask students to briefly talk in their table groups about their observations.  I have a few students share out to the group and then we move into the task.


30 minutes

The task I am using for this lesson comes from the Massachusetts Race to the Top curriculum called New School Schedule.  It provides a table for students that includes five things that the principal said must be included in the day.  The student’s job is to determine how they would like to spend the remaining portion of the day.   They must also create an order for the day and present it to the principal in writing. 

I provide students with a copy of this task and allow them to work individually but collaboratively as they are able to discuss with their table.  I ask them to create an equation to accompany the model of their answer(MP 4 and 7). 

I allow the students plenty of time to work while I circulate the room and assist if necessary.


15 minutes

To wrap up this activity I display the initial 5 1/2 hours on the board and talk about it as an addition problem.  At this point I have to review some vocabulary to students; they need to know mixed number and improper fraction. 

I take the time to explain to them how to go from a mixed number to an improper fraction and vice versa.  As a class we draw conclusions as to the differences and similarities of mixed numbers and improper fractions.