Children attempt to have their teacher achieve a goal (cutting a playdough brownie to share equally between four friends) by giving step-by-step instructions. The teacher tells children ahead of time that she will behave like a computer - acting exactly as they tell her to, without inferring any information that might seem obvious - so they should think carefully about the detail and precision of their instructions. Children then suggest steps for the teacher to follow to share the brownie. The teacher follows the directions very narrowly, not assuming any information they do not say. Once they have successfully worked together to achieve the goal, the teacher ends the activity by having children recall every verb they used to instruct the teacher.
Children review equal shares by dividing a brownie into four equal shares, and reinforces the idea that shares can be equal size, even if they are different shapes.
Computers require that their instructions be specific, precise directions for what they should do, and under what conditions they should do it. Here children explore the importance of precise instructions within a mathematical context.