Here is a true story that happened to my husband this week.
My husband does this thing where he takes all his pocket change and puts it in a small bank. When the bank is full he rolls the coins and deposits them into a college savings account for our children. The other day he rolled the coins that he had in that bank, then and added them to the last batch which he had not yet deposited into the bank. (We do most of our banking online or through an ATM machine so actually doing a transaction inside of the bank is a rarity for us.)
So anyway the other day, he went to the bank with the already rolled coins---each of which tells the amount of money contained inside it in large colored text.
26 rolls of quarters ($10 in each roll)
14 rolls of dimes ($5 in each roll)
18 rolls of nickels ($2 in each roll)
13 rolls of pennies ($0.50 in each roll)
After my husband presented the rolled coins and the already-filled out deposit slip and said, “I want to make this deposit”, the teller responded, “Si.”.
(The fact that English was not spoken is something else that I could rant about but I am not going to do that right now.)
The teller then proceeded to fetch the bank’s coin trays. The coin trays have slots that hold 10 rolls of each type of coin. He filled in the trays. In other words he had this in front of him when he was done:
Two full trays of quarters
Six leftover rolls of quarters
One full tray of dimes
Four leftover rolls of dimes
One full tray of nickels
Eight leftover rolls of nickels
One full tray of pennies
Three leftover rolls of pennies
He then proceeded to be unable to count these coins in order to verify what they totaled up to, to compare it to my husband’s deposit slip. My husband said he got all flustered and simply could not count the coins.
Finally, the teller had to call the Bank Manager over to help him count the change. The manager did the work to finish the transaction.
My husband said the whole thing was a big confusion.
What the heck is our country coming to when even bank tellers cannot count by doing simple addition?
And am I crazy or shouldn’t a bank teller have the ability and job prerequisite to be able to do simple addition math? And if they cannot do this, should not the teller be fired for incompetence?
I feel this warrants a letter to someone high up in the bank. We are really, really at a problem point if banks are hiring bank tellers who cannot do simple math. (We won’t take the time to do this but really we should. Or maybe a ‘letter to the editor’ would be something to consider.)
As my husband told this story at the dinner table he asked our sons aged 6 and 9 to do the math for that addition and both were able to do it mentally within seconds. They literally laughed out loud at the idea that an adult was unable to do that math that young children such as them could do.
I don’t consider my children math geniuses. They have never been tested by anyone or deemed gifted in the area of math. All I can tell you is that I have used the Math-U-See math curriculum and that they find it easy and fun and they are actually, really learning how to do real, normal math.
If you want to do a little math lesson on counting rolls of coins, here is one worksheet which is free, on the Internet.
And here is a large, free online lesson plan for counting coins and rolls of coins. Note that this school teacher has this down as a FIRST GRADE LESSON PLAN. Yes, people, this is a math skill taught to six year old’s.
In September 2006, I blogged complaints about cashiers being unable to count, here, if you want to read more rants about adults not being able to do simple addition.
And in case you want more proof that young adults are not learning, Why Homeschool recently blogged about a study that shows ridiculously low scores on the quantitative literacy rates of college students and recent college graduates.
Technorati Tags: math, teaching math, bank tellers, banking, stupidity, math illiteracy.