Posted in Accessibility, Assistive Technology Software, ICT Support, Inclusion, Teaching & Learning

Drag & drop layouts for simple arithmetic

I’m a bit of a stuck record when I’m regularly asked the question, “What’s the best software for……?” So often, I find that Textease is my, now predictable, answer to the question due to its versatility and relative simplicity of use.

Recently, I’ve had a number of concerns raised about children finding it difficult to adequately lay out their sums. I know there are specific software titles for this but none seems to offer the teachers I speak to, the versatility to set out the sums the way they want.

I’ve made a variety of different template pages in different settings to suit the particular pupil or teacher with whom I’ve been working. You can download the examples below by clicking on the screenshots.

If you don’t have a copy of Textease you can download a free viewer here to enable you to use some of the features. (You won’t be able to hear the speech or print if using the free viewer.)

The templates allow the children to drag and drop numbers and operators, often onto a background grid, in any shape or format they wish. The drag and drop facility works well on teachers’ whiteboards as well!!

On some pages there are smaller copies of numbers for use as carrying figures. There are basic signs such as £  and % on some of the templates but there’s no end to the tools you could include for your own specific purposes. I’ve even managed to devise a way of constructing fractions – contact me if you have any trouble with this. I’ve left out a few more complicated constructions so as not to over-complicate what’s a very simple and accessible tool.

If you have any suggestions for specific or improved layouts please let me know – I’m always happy to build such layouts or help teachers build their own.



I'm a teacher who changed direction after a spell teaching visually impaired pupils. I became interested in how technology could assist learners overcome or deal with various disabilities. Since 1992 I've been an Education Support Officer, an ICT Training Support Officer, and have been Coordinator of Highland's Assistive Technology Support Service since 1995.

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