(CBS) –– Welcome to Mrs. Hurd’s seventh-grade classroom at Still Middle School in Aurora.

Her kids learn about social studies and language arts, in their own little Wrigley Field.

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Lifelong Cubs fan Melissa Hurd has had her room decked out in Cubs decorations for years. This October, it’s extra special as the Cubs have continued their playoff run, tied 1-1 in the National League Championship Series against the Dodgers.

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“This has to be the year,” she tells CBS 2’s Chelsea Irving.

But the decorations are part of the curriculum. Students, for example, can move around the bases if they complete their homework. It’s also a great way to connect with her students.

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“They’re motivated to have a conversation with their teacher other than geography and language arts,” Hurd says. “Knowing that I’m a sports fan is kind of a cool connection I can have with middle-school boys and girls.”