Colonizing Outer Space Due Date

Hello Minischool 9,

I hope everyone has been working hard on their Colonizing Outer Space projects and you have all your logs well on their way. As we discussed in class, we will review progress on Wednesday October 17th with the proposed due date of Monday October 22nd. Please make sure you have any filming done soon so you have time to edit and also, be ready to present that morning (no later). If you have any concerns please see me. Thank you and best of luck! 


Mr. Murray 

Civilization from Scratch Case Study

Hello Minischool 8,

Here is the rundown of the case study format. You must include the following: 

Title- What the Case Study is about (what you are discovering, making, etc.)

Abstract- What you plan on doing for the study (do not add any conclusions yet)

Case Report- Your research and data that you have collected

Conclusion- Conclude on your findings and what they led to? 

Use the following link to help you out: 

Best of luck!

UPDATE: We created a due date for the assignment for Monday October 15th at the START of class. Be ready to present/share your civilization in class (come early if you need to set things up). 

Parent Teacher Interviews – Mr. Murray

Hello Minischool parents,

As you may or may not have noticed, Mr. Murray is unavailable on the Parent Teacher Appointments. If you knew this already or not, I am still recovering from a cycling accident in June. Due to recovery from my accident, I am unable to physically attend these meeting although I am progressing well. If you would like me to send an update please feel free to contact me via email and I will do my best to accommodate everyone’s request in a timely fashion. Thank you all for understanding and I hope they are still enjoying Humanities! Take care,


Mr. Murray 

Civilizations From Scratch

Humanities 8 Civilization from Scratch 

Hello Minischool 8, 

Here is the Civilization From Scratch assignment that I discussed with you today that we will be working on over the next couple weeks. If you have any questions please let me know in class or email me at Best of Luck and remember that we will be creating a slam poem by your leader as the next project. Here is the breakdown of how you will be assessed on each section. Please get used to the wording and phrasing.


Transforming: The student can independently demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the concepts and competencies by transforming knowledge in creative ways.

Applying: The student works independently, demonstrating a complete understanding of the concepts and competencies.

Developing: The student demonstrates a partial understanding of the concepts and competencies.

Emerging: The student demonstrates an initial understanding of the concept and competencies.

Mr. Murray 

Colonizing Outer Space

Here is a copy of the Colonizing Outer Space assignment. 

At least 3 logs needed and again whatever format is acceptable.


You will be evaluated on each section individually in relation to the following assessment guidelines.


Transforming: The student can independently demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of the concepts and competencies by transforming knowledge in creative ways.

Applying: The student works independently, demonstrating a complete understanding of the concepts and competencies.

Developing: The student demonstrates a partial understanding of the concepts and competencies.

Emerging: The student demonstrates an initial understanding of the concept and competencies.

Mr. Murray 

Primary Source Exploration

Hello Minischool 8,

As we are exploring the Fall of Empires, we will first explore the fall of Rome as an example. To better understand these concepts we will analyze the following primary sources to deepen our understanding. Please review the 12 primary sources attached and summarize them in the best way you know how and then add your personal reflection/opinion for each. You may type your answer right underneath the document but please do this individually. Thanks and best of luck!

[Template] Primary Sources – Fall Of Rome

If you need to review your questions on Crash Course here is the youtube link:

and make sure to include the 6 Historical Thinking Concepts. THE CRASH COURSE QUESTIONS ARE DUE WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26th, 2018. We will work on the Primary Sources for the Fall of Rome on Wednesday. 

Best of luck,

Mr. Murray 

Report Cards

Hello BETA Minischool,

We hope that you are all doing well and hope that your child is enjoying the program thus far. As many of you know, we have report cards coming home soon and we just wanted to clarify what you will see. You may have noticed that they are not directly attached to MyEd. This is because we have physical copies that will be handed out on the 23rd of November. We have reviewed the reports with the students to ensure they know where they are at. Please email myself (Mr. Murray) if you have any questions or concerns!

“Continuous learning is the minimum requirement for success in any field”



Mr. Murray

BETA Bits of Business

After our 3 day introduction on DNA with student presentations, we finally took our next step into our science topic. This time, BETA 9 experiences with extracting DNA from a strawberry. Though the procedure was a bit on the more difficult side as it was all aural instructions, we managed to pull through and finish the DNA extraction.


A photo of DNA taken through the microscope

Thanks to Ms. Neumann, our class was able to experience and get our hands on something super cool! Our first step was to get a thawed strawberry and place it into an airtight bag. Next was the fun part, we got to crush the strawberry into mush. Everyone had different methods of doing so- squishing it with finger, sitting on it, slamming it on the table, smashing it with a water bottle… all quite interesting methods, but it did the job. The next step was to add 10 millilitres of the DNA extractor liquid, which consisted of salt, dish soap, and water. After gently mixing the two liquids together, and trying not to produce bubbles and foam (that kind of backfired on some of us), we had to filter out all the strawberry gunk via cheesecloth and into a test tube. Though several people ended up spilling all of the strawberry mush, most of us reigned successful. The last step was to add isopropyl alcohol. We had to tilt the tube 45 degrees and carefully make two full squirts in order to create a layer on top of the strawberry juice.

After that, we slowly noticed tiny bubbles begin to form and a translucent light-pink, sticky substance in the between the alcohol and strawberry juice. Ms. Neumann then handed out long stirring sticks with small circular hoops attached to one end, much like a bubble wand. We used the stir stick to gently pry the translucent substance out of the mixture, and by stirring in a circular motion, it allowed the extracted DNA to stick to the hoop. We then proceeded to place the extracted substance onto a microscope slide, then we placed a slide cover on top and pushed down to try and get rid of any air bubbles. Afterwards, we placed we slide underneath a microscope, where we were able to see the results of our DNA extraction.

After a lot of focusing, this is what we saw through the microscope

That’s all for today from 🅱eta 🅱its of 🅱usiness! See you all next time!


BETA Bits of Business

A few weeks back, BETA 9 made play dough for our sexual and asexual reproduction stop motion films!


The process of making play dough was extremely chaotic even though we had written instructions to follow. In partners, we first had to gather all our ingredients, which consisted of flour, water, oil and cream of tartar. It was interesting seeing the different methods people used to measure out each ingredient, as we only had liquid measuring cups. Though this resulted in a mess, we managed to get the job done.


The next step was to actually make the play dough. We started off by placing a giant measuring cup filled with water on a hot plate, and then added oil. Gradually, as the liquid combination became a bit hotter, we added flour while stirring to prevent burning. Eventually, after the flour, water and oil mixture was one consistency, we stirred in the cream of tartar. After what seemed like hours of mixing, the play dough was finally set for kneading and coloring. Each group made a different color of play dough. Most people made the play dough into a ball and indented it with their finger to make a small hole for the food coloring. Then we proceeded to push, turn, fold, and repeat. Though most groups reigned successful, a few of us made some rather… interesting colours.  


Water and food coloring ended up everywhere, but after a good chunk of time, the class was able to pull through and clean up both the class and the hallway.


Our next step was to start and set up our stop motion film sets. Many of us found several creative ways to prop up our devices, in order to achieve the best angle, and lighting. Some students chose to go above and beyond by animating tiny details and paying attention to background movement. Many of us ran into small problems and issues along the way, such as; shadows, which made one frame significantly darker than the others. Movement, which caused the camera to go off center. And last, but definitely not least, background noise. For many students, it was hard to find the perfect location with decent acoustics, and no students wandering around. It was a difficult process, but the all the groups managed to pull through in the end, and produce some extraordinary results.


Some of the things we were marked based off, included:

Communication, which is how well we were able to explain our concept of reproduction, using the correct scientific terms, while still making it easy to understand.

The creativity of the script. Again, similar to communication, we had to make sure we portrayed our concept well, while still making it creative and fun! This included the details of the storyline, and how the presentation was pieced together as a whole.

The creativity of the art, which, of course, is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Things like small details, and originality were major influences here.

Lastly, collaboration. I would say this is pretty self-explanatory. We were assessed based on how we chose to use our in-class time to benefit this project.

Overall, both the play dough-making and stop motion films were extremely fun projects! Our class really enjoyed them, and everyone had a blast. Not only were we covering our studies thoroughly, we were also given the opportunity to show our understanding in an interesting and creative way.


That’s all from Beta Bits of Business!~


Volunteer Criminal Record Check Mentor Letter

Mentorship Letter Alpha Secondary Beta Minischool

Hello Parents,

Hope you are all doing well and that your child is enjoying this class so far (we do like to give them work;)). I have attached a form for the Volunteer Criminal Record Check (click the Mentorship Letter link above) if your child does have a mentor that is not either myself or Ms. Neumann. It is a fill in the blank style document but please feel free to contact me if there are any issues. Thank you very much. 


Mr. Murray