[THIS IS ONE PART OF SIX PARTS IN A SEQUENCE OF LESSONS FOR THE FIRST "MINI-UNIT" IN MY COURSE.]
Now that students have created the "base" home page/landing page with a basic layout, added some bio. info., and established the various pages needed for the site, as well as adding gadgets to their home/landing pages, it is time for the final phase of basic customization. (See the previous lessons in this "mini-unit.) At this point, I mention that their role as "junior" web developers continues today, and they will place more content from "inside" their notebook sites on the "front door" (home page/landing page). I remind them again of what my mock-up site looks like, and mention that I will now show them how to create the exact same look for their sites. (The attached resources are screencasts of this part of this process.)
After adding the few essential gadgets to the site home page/landing page, I then spend several minutes revisiting the "list items" (for Research Interests) and placing a gadget to feed this page to the front as well. After this final gadget is in place, I have students explore changes to their themes and/or color-schemes as a way of putting the final touches of personalization on their sites (for now at least).
Before beginning this part of the layout lessons, ask students to open their pulse.me feeds in a fresh tab and carefully review the requirements for their pulse feed's organization and structure. The review of pulse.me and it's use is CRUCIAL to making this flow well (as there is a good deal of typing needed in this part of the programming).
You may want to review the recommended pulse.me setup and/or share this blog post yourself. Also, it is nearly imperative that you have a tab to the original pulse.me "recommended" list of categories open for quick reference on the classroom screen before you begin. (You may also want to use my example list page for student reference as well -- link from my example site.)
Finally, finish up this lesson by having students add items to their Potential Research Interest List from their pulse.me accounts/feeds. After students get the hang of adding list items, you may ask them to add enough items to "fill the period." I've found that they get the hang of the process after adding about 4 - 6 items. By the way, this is a great exercise (adding list items) for the tail end of an errant class period.