WRITING SLATES Writing slates were used in classrooms as far back as the 1700s. In rural areas where paper was scarce students continued to use writing slates and many rural primary schools still use writing slates today as they are inexpensive, durable and practical. Slate pencils and chalk were also cheaper than lead pencils. Paper was an expensive luxury and so naturally writing slates were the preferred medium used by students and teachers for practising work. The commercial production of paper only began in earnest in the late 19th century. However it was only after World War 2 that paper became as readily available as we know it today with most of us more than likely never giving it a second thought. This is why writing slates were used less frequently in schools by the mid to late 20th century. But writing slates are back. And they're better than ever. Wasting reams of paper is no longer acceptable. Paper is costly and why waste it by throwing it away? So much information that we need to display is only required temporarily, so there is no need to store it permanently on a piece of paper. A lot of teachers and students are using writing slates again. They're light and easy to clean and carry. When you're finished using the slate you just wipe it clean and it's ready to be used in an instant. Writing slates come in various sizes and mediums (such as flexible plastic, rigid plastic, wood with write and wipe surface) and are typically available as singles or packs of ten. There is also a range of different coloured markers and even magnets to use with magnetic writing slates. Monthly Write and Wipe planners as well as yearly planners are available too. Flexible magnetic Write and Wipe slates are very useful and popular, because they are light weight and less likely to break. Plastic Writing Slates with lines are also useful, particularly to junior learners who need lines when learning to write. Hospitals and vets also often use writing slates to display information temporarily about a dog kennel or a hospital bed, for example. The benefit of the slate in such an instance is that the information required to be displayed is only temporary and it can be easily changed, yet the need to display information remains permanent. So an inexpensive writing slate is allocated to each space and staff can readily display and change information.