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Most videos online for this type of problem show the algorithm with little explanation of what is happening with the numbers. I did find an area model explanation on Lernzillion for a whole number multiplied by a mixed number. The URL is: http://learnzillion.com/lessons/216-multiply-whole-numbers-by-mixed-numbers-using-area-models. This same model could be used for multiplying two mixed numbers as well.
In my class we talk about what each piece means. For example 2 1/3 x 4 3/5 is the same thing as (2 + 1/3) * (4 + 3/5) and we look at the math that way we multiply (2*4) + (2* 3/5) + (1/3*4)+(1/3*3/5). I have noticed kids can handle this sometimes easier than trying to convert to improper fractions then multiplying.
The area models are great too!
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