When teaching fraction skills, I always try to make them as applicable and relevant to the real world for my students as I can. I will admit that when I was getting ready to teach the skill of multiplying mixed numbers, I was a bit stumped about how to make this skill relatable.

The first few lessons I teach on multiplying mixed numbers focus on ensuring that students have a conceptual understanding of the math. Since I always begin each lesson with a task or word problem to maintain a real-world connection and provide context for the models and math, I realized I needed to pause and reflect on how to make multiplying mixed numbers both relatable and applicable to my students.

I also realized that if I found it challenging to make a clear real-world connection, I needed to be more explicit in explaining this to my students. This post will share my approach and include free resources if you want to replicate this lesson with your students.

#### Real-World Connection When Multiplying Mixed Numbers

First, I brainstormed a variety of scenarios in which multiplying mixed numbers would be necessary. Here is what I came up with: (feel free to leave a comment with additional scenarios, as this list is pretty limited):

- When calculating ingredients or materials needed for multiple batches of a recipe or for a science experiment
- When determining person fitness and exercise goals
- When calculating hourly totals using fractions
- When completing “Do It Yourself” projects, such as crafting, construction, gardening, or home improvement

I also made the situations into a printable chart for my students. This chart works great to post in your classroom or printed at 80% and glued to an interactive notebook for future reference.

Next, I created four word problems, one for each real-life situation, to help my students see the big picture and the connection between multiplying mixed numbers and real life.

For the lesson, I organized my students into eight groups. Each group moved around the room, reading, discussing, and solving each problem. Since I had eight groups, each problem was posted twice in two different locations.

Note: The tasks are also included in the freebie as a full page and a four-to-a-page version (shown above). The full-page version is the version I used during my lesson. This version can also be printed at 80% for student notebooks (shown below).

#### FREE Multiplying Mixed Number Printable and Tasks

If you think these printables will be useful for your students when they are learning how to multiply mixed numbers, click the animated image below and then enter your email address in the pop-up. You’ll be able to download the resource immediately and it will also be sent to your inbox.

### More Fraction Resources, Freebies, and Blog Posts:

Multiplying and Dividing Fractions Word Problems: This post shares how I help my students solve word problems involving multiplication and division of fractions, including a FREE word problem sort.

Free Fraction Mats: I use these free fraction graphic organizers/mats to support my students as they add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators.

Free Fraction Fun with Snacks Printables: If you can use snacks in your math class, your students will love reviewing fraction operations (multiplication and division of fractions) using Twizzlers, Skittles, and brownies.

4 Ways to Teach Students to Make Common Denominators: Read about four ways that I teach my students to find common denominators (and grab a free printable).

Free Fraction Activities: This post shares some FREE fraction activities.

Free Fraction Jenga: Your students will love reviewing fraction skills with Jenga!

Angela Culley says

Great question on how often we multiply mixed numbers in real life…I'm going to spend some time thinking about that and making note as I use them. Today is my first time linking up with Math is Real Life and I am so excited to participate.

dasindonna says

Thank you.

Terry Abromitis says

Great freebie!! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

Terry

Terry's Teaching Tidbits

Lori DeMeo - Hurley says

thanks so much for making my brain work harder…I'm in the process of using word problems with number lines and any suggestions or examples from you or created material would be awesome…if you decide to do that please provide teacher key…all curriculum developers competing with CCSS (for purchasing purposes only) are not providing multiple examples of how to get a correct answer. My team sat down last year and completed the 5th grade state test and each of us came up with several ways to solve each individual word problem with multiple steps unlike what might or might not be accepted in NYS answer keys. Which brings me to another flaw in the grading system. Teachers/scorers not familiar enough with the new CCSS standards need to be exposed to conceptual understandings beyond what was learned in previous years. they must have a greater understanding of multiply ways of presenting to accommodate the differentiated instruction expected in today's teaching. I'm a big advocate of providing your thinking on paper just like we expect kids to do. Thanks for the real world questions when presented with multiplying mixed numbers.

When you move into geometry angles etc…I recommend the downhill speed skiers in the Olympics… the angles needed to maintain leads in speed within seconds is real life and also ties into those decimals that are hare to grasp for 5th graders…forget 3rd and 4th…at this moment. There are live examples of olympic skiers at angles obtuse, acute etc and websites to really get kids to understand. Wow…I'm way off topic.

Lori DeMeo - Hurley says

correction "curricular developers for purchasing purpose should be for selling purposes big money"

lori

Alicia says

Great scenarios!

Jamie Riggs says

Love this, Jennifer! Everyone is cooking tons this month…. hmmmm, I need to go eat something 🙂

Jamie aka MissMathDork!

Tracy says

Isnt the denominator 4? This would make the quantity needed 3 3/4 cups of milk.

Jennifer Findley says

You are absolutely right! I made a little note to ignore the computation error in the example. Thanks for kindly letting me know.

Cassie says

I love all your resources! I am a first year teacher! I teach fifth grade math, science, and social studies. It is really hard meeting the needs for all my students. You have a great way to differentiate lessons and centers so I can meet those needs. Its also hard buying all the things I would love to have from teachers pay teachers on a first year teaching salary in a very small district. Thank you for posting all the freebies! I have added them all to my drive and plan on using them! I read all of your blog posts and I feel I have grown greatly as an educator this year!

Jennifer Findley says

I am so glad my blog is helping you, Cassie! Are you subscribed to my email list? I have an exclusive freebie library of freebies that are not found on my blog. I have math and literacy resources in there now (eleven in all) but I plan to add lots more in the upcoming months! You can read more and sign up here: https://jenniferfindley.com//exclusive-freebie-library

cassie says

I am subscribed and I have printed out everything that is free and then bought some things as well. We are using rock the test review centers right now to study for our state tests. I plan on buying the math units bundle as well. These resources are amazing!