Here is a compilation of my favorites from your comments. Thank you all, they are really helpful.
A compilation of Sharing notes from other Code.org teachers
1. I like the free play option. I think that my students will grow by trying their different ideas without being contained to what is given to them!
2. I like that the students work in pairs and collaborate. If one student gets frustrated, often the other student can help pull them through.
3. I'm excited to use the Evaluation Blocks with my students to the Order of Operations and different properties. I think that it will help them truly understand these processes.
4. I think I'll let students use coding to solve a few problems in the textbook whenever possible.
5. This is one that definitely depends on the students and their skill levels. Starting with free play and exploration can be powerful for many students, but you're right that it becomes more challenging to bring them back into the structured process after freely exploring. The trick to it is motivating the need for the structure of the design recipe - give them a really challenging problem that necessitates the design recipe process. Let them chew on it, struggle, and then bring the the design recipe as their savior, the way to make sense of this problem that's too big to tackle without structure.
6. I like the idea of using the design recipe for word problems and the circles of evaluation. I am curious to see if it will assist students who struggle with solving numerical expressions.
7. I love how the design recipe helps students think before jumping into anything.