We just finished perpendicular bisectors and I found an activity in my book. It involved a map, three fire stations, and a house. Students had to fold and cut and such to form the perpendicular bisectors and to decide which fire station was the closest to the house.
I had given them very detailed instructions (see here) but I was fully expecting to hear the complaining, whining, and annoying comments such as "I quit, I don't know what we're doing, I don't even know what you're talking about, What do we do now, I don't know what to do next".
I just prefaced the activity with a little speech about how I would not be responding to any of those comments. I told them if they needed help, I would be glad to help them but they could only ask me a specific question, no whining allowed.
And...it worked. Students were cutting, drawing, folding, but most importantly, following directions. The classroom environment was much more peaceful and I realized yet another reason why that class drains me. The negative energy is just too exhausting. I should have made this rule from the very beginning. It's such an obvious thing to say but it's just another example of how I fail to communicate my expectations, and end up upset when they are not met.
I also modified a perpendicular activity from @crstn85. My plan was that after doing the first activity, they would know how to do the second activity with less instruction. We didn't get to it but I really like the idea of measuring and converting between centimeters and miles. Maybe I will use that one instead next year.