During our unit on measurement, I have tried to let go of only using certain tools during direct instruction and instead allowing students to explore them on their own. Here there are two students weighing things in a scale. They were trying out different materials and objects from the sensory tub and trying to balance them out. They were SO excited when they got the scale to balance! I also have tried letting go of my need to control mess. I personally cannot stand having scissors in centers because my students end up cutting the paper into a million pieces and making a complete disaster area. I gave in today though and allowed them to use scissors (upon their request) to collage the potato print pictures they were making. They were really excited about it and they made some pretty cool collages and discovered that the paint acted like glue.