Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions

Last week I sucessfully taught all of my students to convert Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions. I related the process first to getting quarters or rolls of dimes but then to getting tokens at an arcade or chuck.e.cheese which received a big laugh from my middle school students.

So first I give them a mixed number like :

and tell them that is $3 and 1 Quarter. So you already have one quarter in your pocket how many quarters do you get for $3?

It may take them a while but someone figures out they have to multiply the 3 by 4 to get 12.

So 12 quarters plus the 1 quarter you already had in your pocket makes 13 quarters.

and there you have it. Then I repeated the problem with dimes for instance:

Now it gets tricky (or here is the trick). How do you teach:

The description I used, was getting tokens at an arcade (you could also use tickets at a carnival). If it costs $1 for 7 tokens how many tokens do you get for $2? and add the 5 tokens you already have in your pocket which totals, how many tokens?

Out of all the fraction equivalences on the friday quiz, my students were able to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions the best. It is Amazing how a little anecdote can go a long way!

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