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What about starting with a mixed number and changing it to an improper fraction?

Yep - we can do it!

How about 1 3/4?

We can draw a picture:

square_4piece_blue.gif         square_4piece_3_4.gif

Count up the squares... There are 7 fourths... That's 7/4.

So, 1 3/4 = 7/4

Let's see how to do one without pictures:

Let's change 2 5/6 to an improper fraction.

fraction7_bigwork.gif

So, 2 5/6 = 17/6

Can you check this by drawing hexagons? It will work!