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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Maths Subject Knowledge: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 7 seconds PAULA KELLY: So we can combine fractions and whole numbers, and we call this a mixed number. So say, for example, we have here– we have some pizza cut into eight slices. If we had one full pizza, so 8 out of 8 slices, a second pizza with just five slices remaining, we’d call this one whole one and 5/8, so 1 and 5/8. Similarly, you had some other pizzas put into five slices. In this case, you have two whole ones. In the remaining third pizza, we have just three out of five slices left, so we’d call it 2 and 3/5.

Mixed numbers

A common misconception is that fractions always represent a number which is less that one.

Very often, numbers are made up of a combination of a whole number and a fraction, when the number is larger than one, but not a whole number. We call these numbers ‘mixed numbers’.

In this video we see two simple examples of mixed number representation.


“Get 50% of or half price whichever is less” stated the newspaper advert. Fractions, decimals and percentages are used every day. On a trip to the shops you will encounter signs saying “up to 50% off”.

Throughout this course we will be encouraging you to share examples where you have seen fractions, decimals and percentages in use outside the classroom. Using examples from real life will help your students identify where maths is used and when they encounter maths outside the classroom this will reinforce their understanding.

Can you come up with three places where fractions are commonly used? Are there any places where mixed numbers are often used?

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This video is from the free online course:

Maths Subject Knowledge: Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages

National STEM Learning Centre