Ladies & Gentlemen, boys & girls I take great pleasure in presenting to you a blog by Billy Adamson who has created some impressive wall pictures (they are massive too … so eyecatching and creative!) based on the #mathsinoneword twitter “thang” he created recently. Amazing! 

The collaborative beauty of Twitter

Well, erm, …, hi, h1ello there. W, w, welcome to my FIRST EVER blog. As you may gather, I’m feeling incredibly nervous, especially as this is being hosted on such a big stage, thanks Mel!!

So I guess I better start at the beginning.

In my never-ending aspiration to inspire current cohorts I dreamed up the idea of filling a large wall with individual photo frames filled with the ‘gems’ left by the previous year. If students won’t listen to us, they’ll listen to their peers, right??


So, I designed a template and asked my department to collect responses from their year 11 classes. It was leafing through the year 11 classes’ responses and fantasising about the finished article where the idea was born. It was lovely reading the variation and uplifting descriptions that the students were giving for their ‘Maths in One Word’ answers. Wouldn’t this make a beautiful wordle display? And, the idea expanded:

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to match the 300 student responses against 300 parents and 300 Maths teachers … So where else do you find 300 Maths teachers?

The best collaborative network in the world is where! But I was going to need some help along the way, some big guns that would see me through to the finish line. Enter JustMaths (@Just_Maths) and Rob Smith (@RJS2212).

15The response was overwhelming, exciting and inspiring. I am not one who can ignore my twitter notification ‘ting’ and so hearing this go off with such regularity was popularity like I had never encountered before! It wasn’t just the notifications; one of the things I love about twitter is like-minded people and the banter this can produce. I spent many an enjoyable evening giggling away at the responses and subsequent comments from likely accomplices.

5In order to keep the momentum going and have the whole #Mathsinoneword repeatedly being displayed in everyone’s timeline I took it upon myself to respond to everyone who offered their word, listing the regularity and position of each individual suggestion.


And then it became competitive!! Mel and Rob took it upon themselves to make sure my ambition would be realised. Their pestering and retweeting gave responses in such quick succession that this initiative took over my life. In some instances notifications were coming in quicker than I could respond to them!!

8And then, after many hours and notifications it was complete, we had done it!!

9And, of course, I had to make a public declaration. To be honest Rob did deserve this accolade. He was even placed in twitter jail for tweeting too much in one day such was his commitment to the cause!!

10The next step? Easy? Just upload the completed list into wordle and press randomise to watch this beautiful glossary come alive before my very eyes. It was a hugely gratifying task and I took great pride knowing what had been achieved in such a short time!

11But it doesn’t end there! Like many ideas on twitter, they sow seeds and this wonderfully creative and passionate group of people evolve ideas and produce innovative and inspirational resources. Enter “the real” Emma Bell (@El_Timbre ) and Christine Watson ( @clwatson999 )


0And it really does end there. Well, for me anyway … Christine was very kind and sent through an excellent set of instructions to follow in order to make my dream a reality. I used a local studio to transfer the images onto 1m square posters for me. The finished products are excellent and I love walking down through my department seeing the fruits of many people’s labour transform into what I hope are inspiring displays. They certainly inspire me!


Can I finish by thanking you for reading and thank everyone for their involvement and contribution to what has been, and is, a wonderful advert for our beautiful subject. Please let me know what you do with the idea, I would love another project …

MEL: Billy has kindly provided all the documents used for the above project, which I’ve included below:

PPT – Students Leave your legacy

PPT – Legacy template (winning design)

Wordle request from parents

Words used for the wordles, along with instructions

Students wordle (only 258)

Parents wordle (only 200)

Maths teacher wordle (updated)


Or if you want to use the exact images Billy created – they are below:

1 Final wordle (Maths) 1 Final wordle (In One) 1 Final wordle (Word)