This is a slightly different approach to getting across the idea of mixed numbers. Fraction Towers are put together to explicitly represent and name mixed numbers by using them to measure lengths.
Students measure an object by linking one or more Red Unit Towers together, along with however many towers of the specified denominator it takes to make the length being measured.
Students then write the mathematical steps for this conversion in order, but they are simply describing what they did with the Fraction Towers.
There are several pages of practice problems in which students write the individual mathematical steps in converting mixed numbers to improper fractions.
Common Core Standards:
4.NF.3.c: “Add and subtract mixed numbers…by replacing each mixed number with an equivalent fraction….”
(This is the only standard which mentions conversions of mixed numbers and improper fractions.)
Subjects: Math, Fractions, Measurement
Level: Grades 3-5
Duration: 10 pages of student work, 2-3 days
Answer Key: included for all but the routine practice problems
A Smart Notebook 10 file is included. Click on the .zip icon and you can open both the PDF and Notebook files separately.