# Improper Fractions - Mixed Numbers - IntoMath

We have looked at the concept of a simple fraction in one of the previous lessons.

Fractions can be proper (when the value of a number in the numerator is lower than that in the denominator) or improper (when the value of a number in the numerator is greater than or equal to that in the denominator). An improper fraction is always 1 or greater than 1.

Improper fractions can be converted into mixed numbers (also called mixed fractions) by isolating the whole in the improper fraction.

A mixed number is a combination of a whole number and a proper fraction. Rewriting an improper fraction as a mixed number can be helpful. It helps us identify more easily how many whole components there are.

Mixed numbers can be represented visually as several wholes and parts of something. For example, in the short animation below we use pizzas to demonstrate the concept. It is important to understand how to connect the visual representation of mixed numbers and their arithmetic representation on paper (tablet).

We can add and subtract mixed numbers by first adding and subtracting their whole parts and then their fractional parts. If the sum of the fractions is an improper fraction, then we change it to a mixed number. When the denominators of the fractions are different, we need to find equivalent fractions with a common denominator before adding or subtracting.

More free math help and activities here: intomath.org