Continuing with the 'Memory Lane' theme, a recent post on Twitter mentioned slates and I was reminded that one of the schools I attended during WW2 (the one nearest to my grandparents home in north Wales) didn't use exercise books. Instead, all written work - and arithmetic, I guess - was done on slates.
The fact that we lived not too far away from the major slate-mining town of Blaenau Ffestiniog would probably have been a consideration - but, I wouldn't be surprised if the likelihood that slates may well have been a more economical proposition than pencil and paper would also have been a factor towards their popularity.
The slates were about the size of a standard book and each one had a wooden frame upon which, I seem to recall, the pupil's name was inscribed. So far as I can remember, something similar to a two or three inch nail was used as a 'pencil' and it was possible to write on both sides of the slate. A damp cloth was used to clean a 'page' before starting a new subject.
After returning to Liverpool after the war, both the schools I went to used paper exercise books and we were supplied with wooden pens. Only one step up from a quill, some might say, we had to dip the nibs into ink-wells which were built into our desks. I'm fairly sure the ink was 'manufactured' on the spot - by mixing a powdery substance into a jug/bowl/bucket of water. It was only during the last couple of years of my education that I got my own fountain pen. Although ball-point pens were becoming more widely available, I don't recall being allowed to use one at school.