There’s really no such number as “point three seven five.” Yet that’s how a lot of students say .375, and a big reason for this is that a lot of teachers say it that way too—me included until I realized this perpetuated students’ difficulties with decimals.
So from that point on, I stopped saying “point” and instead referred to decimal numbers correctly—“three-hundred seventy-five thousandths,” for example—and insisted students do so too. And not only did their grasp of decimal place value improve as a result, but so did their computational skills. Even better, they became much more proficient at something that trips kids up as much as anything: converting between decimals, fractions, and percents!
Look for more on decimal-fraction-percent conversions in a future post. For now, though, make it a point to stop saying point when referring to decimals (including mixed numbers—i.e., go with “and” rather than “point;” example: read 15.03 as “fifteen and three hundredths”).