# Can animals count?

It has been said by many that animals in fact have the ability to count, however in the 1980’s Wilhelm von Osten was said to have taught his horse Hans how to count. Hans was able to stamp his hoof in order to answer questions such as basic addition and subtraction to multiplication and division. Hans and his owner would perform all over Germany and amaze hundreds of viewers with his mathematical ability.

After investigation it was discovered that in fact Hans could not count and instead was reacting to non-verbal hints from the person who was questioning him. It was also found that Hans could only answer the question correctly if the questioner knew the answer. This has caused scientists now to believe that animals cannot count but this may not be the case.

Scientists later carried out a study involving ants, researchers took some ants and cut their legs to make them shorter and stuck some matchsticks onto others. the ants with shorter legs stopped walking before they made it home and those with longer legs walked past their homes. This suggesting that the ants could in fact count the amount of steps it took for them to reach their home. So can animals count? the question still remains.

# Why I chose discovering mathematics

Maths has always been an interest to me, during my years as a primary school student I loved to learn the different mathematical concepts, this may be due to having an extremely enthusiastic teacher especially when it came to maths. I always found maths fun in primary school with exciting games and activities that helped to develop my understanding and knowledge of the subject. This excitement however did not continue into secondary education.

As I made the huge jump from primary to secondary school I began to dislike maths and dread the time when I had to go to class. The difference from primary school was huge, rather that playing games and doing fun activities I was now required to sit and complete equations from a textbook. Maths in primary school was learning things that I could use in every day life such as telling the time and currency where as in high school I didn’t see the use of the majority of the thinks that I was learning and I therefore became disengaged in the subject.

In order to be successful as a teacher I must be able to teach the basics fundamentals of mathematics to the pupils in my class, due to my disengagement in secondary school I forgot the basics of maths such as multiplication and division because I was so focused on the more difficult stuff. I therefore took this module to recap and broaden my knowledge of mathematics.

# Professionalism and the Online World

Social media plays a huge role in our day to day life’s with most people using sites such as ‘Twitter’, ‘Facebook’ and ‘Tumblr’ on a daily basis, but what challenges and opportunities do we face when it comes to our personal versus our professional presence on social media.

There are many positive aspects to using social media for professional purposes. For example it allows you to interact with others within the same profession and share your thoughts and ideas with a wider audience, however there are many challenges that teachers face when it comes to the use of social media. To ensure that the communications made online are done so in a professional manner it is important to keep your personal and professional life’s separate on social media, whether that be having separate accounts with the personal one being private or having one account for both with the personal aspects being private. Regularly checking your account settings and what others are posting about you is also necessary to ensure that your personal details are kept confidential.

It is easy for students and parents to search for you on various social media sites and it is crucial that if we as teachers receive friends requests from either students or parents that we do not accept them as this could be considered as inappropriate and unprofessional.

I believe that the use of social media should be encouraged in classes in a way that will allow children to develop their learning in a safe and appropriate manner.

# Why teaching?

My love for learning has contributed to my desire in passing on my knowledge and sharing my experiences with others. I completed many voluntary placements in primary schools and this helped me realise that teaching was the path I wanted to follow. During my time in one school in particular I got to learn more about the day to day life of a teacher, this further inspired me to want to become a teacher that was enthusiastic and spreaded positivity.

I hope to be like my primary five teacher as I had never imagined being a primary school teacher until then. She always told me that teaching is a rewarding experience and that I have the ability to be just like her.