Detailed Solution for Word Problem of the Day


There's nothing wrong with improper fractions!  In elementary school, students may have been taught that improper fractions should not be used, that they should be converted to a mixed number... now to be sure, there are several reasons for this.  However, there are instances where improper fractions are needed to solve math problems.  Let's look at this problem as an example. Stephanie has an 18 foot board. To figure out how many pieces consisting of 1 and 1/2 foot pieces, we simply need to divide.  That is straightforward enough, however the procedure for doing this division using fractions involves converting the  mixed number back into an improper fraction.  When we do this, the solution looks like this.

(click image below to enlarge)

How did your students approach solving this problem? What are other observations you noticed?  Let us know below...

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