I have always taught that when simplifying fractions, having the answer as an improper fraction is correct, even preferred over mixed numbers. I have always accepted mixed numbers as correct, but encouraged my students to be comfortable with improper fractions since they are used more frequently than mixed numbers in mathematics. I require mixed numbers only when students are stating a measurement in a real world situations.

My question to everyone out there is: What is the correct definition of Simplifying Fractions? Should the answer be as an improper fraction or mixed number? AND.... What is the difference between Simplifying Fractions and Reducing Fractions?

Thank you all for your responses.